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The Valuable Lesson I Learned From my Autistic Son

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” – Paulo Coelho

During the recent stay recent stay at home so much has changed in our lives. I wanted to share the valuable lesson I learned from my autistic son during this time.

The past few months at home have turned out to be the gift I did not know I needed.

Often times we are not aware of things until we get the opportunity to see them through a child’s eyes.

On a normal day at home, during quarantine when I discovered otherwise.

A little back story here so you can understand the context.

Autism Journey

At the age of three my youngest son started showing some signs of possible Autism.

Some signs I felt needed to be looked into with his pediatrician.

This began the long and arduous process of trying to get a diagnosis.

You can read that here if you are not aware of our journey or listen to my recent podcast here.

This journey brought about a lot of stress in all areas of my life as I searched frantically for answers.

The stress took control of my normal daily living.

Normal activities like sleeping, cooking and enjoying being with my family became difficult.

After a few years of being on the diagnosis journey I started to realize that I was not taking good care of myself.

A valuable lesson I needed to learn in order to be a better mother and wife.

It was time for be to do a better job of taking care of myself and managing my stress.

I needed to do it for myself and my family so that I could continue caring for my son and other two children.

Valuable Lesson Learned On Stress

In order to combat the stress of caring for and raising a special needs child I decided some self love and care was important.

I began exercizing, doing yoga, meditation and tried to eat better.

This had been my way of coping for the last 8 years or so I thought.

These things helped me combat some of the stress mentally and physically, but did not take it all away.

The autism journey is a lifetime commitment, and I have to work to keep stress manageable.

Current situation

At the beginning of the pandemic I felt as though I was doing a good job of managing my stress.

Not worrying about the fact that I was out of work with and my son not getting the services he needed.

I felt confident that I was handling it all perfectly.

On day my son suggested we go on a family walk, something we used to do as a family almost every night.

I realized it had been quite some time since we had taken a family walk.

Since the quarantine we have been spending all day every day together and for the most part enjoying it.

When I agreed, his excitement was over the top.

You would have thought we were going on a stroll through Disneyland.

He could not stop talking about going on our walk and taking Goldie, our little dog with us.

His excitement for a seemingly small activity made me realize something.

Precious Revelation

I suddenly realized that we had stopped doing the little things we all enjoyed so much.

Stress had taken away my ability to let myself enjoy things that I once did.

I was not even aware until that moment that I was not handling my stress well.

A valuable lesson helping me see some very important things about the stress in my life.

My sons excitement helped me to see just how precious the small things in life are.

Watching my son get so excited over little things has brought me so much joy during our stay at home time.

This made me so grateful and aware of what this time at home had given to me and my family.

Time to heal some of the affects of the stress in my life and reconnect with my family.

Something I had taken for granted while I “thought ” I was managing my stress.

The journey with my son is a life long journey that will continue to be stressful but I using this time learning to enjoy the little things along the way.

My son taught me a valuable lesson without even knowing it and I am eternally grateful for that.

Since then I have intentionally taken the time every day to enjoy little things with my family.

Playing board games, singing and dancing, walking in the evenings after dinner and bike rides through our neighborhood.

Had it not been for this gift of time at home, I would not have been still enough to see life through his eyes and learn this valuable lesson from my son.

I will forever be grateful for this time home with my family and all the lessons my son has taught me.

Till next time.



Sonya Burgess

Sonya is graduate of Guilford College and a preschool teacher who lives at the North Carolina coast with her husband of 25 years, their three children ages 19,18,12 and their rescue dog Goldie. Her youngest child was recently diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum and she has a heart for encouraging other special needs mamas. One of her favorite out door activities is hanging out at the beach with her family searching for sea glass. She also enjoys doing diy projects and decorating her home on a budget. Sonya blogs at encouraging women to create a beautiful, intentional life and home.

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