CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Laughter and Perspective: the Keys to Surviving a Child With Autism

save article
profile picture of The Bump Editors
Updated January 30, 2017
Hero Image
Image: Danica / The Bump

This is the fourth and final installment of Danica’s series on her son’s Autism diagnosis. In her first post, The Moment Autism Changed Everything, she shares how the autism diagnosis changed her family’s world. Her second post, Avoiding the Autism Diagnosis: Ignorance Is Not Bliss, takes us through coping with the diagnosis and in her third post, Yes, My Son Is Autistic But No, He’s Not ‘Rain Main’,  Danica details her son’s “super” powers. She is a stay at home mom of 3 who spends most of her time homeschooling and cleaning up the path of destruction her autistic son leaves. You can follow his antics at http://laffytaffyandwine.blogspot.com/.

Laughter and perspective. These are two of my favorite words that go hand in hand and have been essential on this journey. I’ll admit that there are times I lose my perspective and I don’t find my situation all that humorous! But as I get older, those times are fewer and farther between. In the trenches of autism it can be easy to lose your perspective and sense of humor because sometimes it feels like the only thing you’re doing is handling crisis after crisis. When I’ve felt that way and people told me “it gets easier,” I could have choked them. Please don’t kill the messenger, but for those of you who are in the thick of this and can’t find humor in your situation, it does get easier.

Perspective.

When I think my world is ending and my circumstances unbearable for one more moment, I remind myself (and my kids) that there’s always someone out there that has it worse than we do. There are parents who are dealing with really tough stuff with their kids. I don’t want to minimize what we’re going through, but knowing that this world is so much bigger than only us makes me feel a little better. I’ve been through some pretty heartbreaking situations recently and despite those circumstances, there are people out there who have it much worse than I do. I park on this thought, pray for those families and am thankful for what I have.

Related Video

Laughter.

When Aaron does something outrageous (which happens on a near daily basis), I have a choice. I can let it be the end of the world, _or _I can find the humor in it and possibly even celebrate a new skill he’s acquired. Most of the time I laugh and think, “seriously, you did NOT just do that!” If he’s being naughty then, of course, I don’t laugh (most of the time) because I do have to discourage the behavior. I generally don’t like to clean up the messes he makes, but after it’s all over, I have a story to tell. I have sympathy from strangers and I can be the perspective for others (“my life may suck, but at least it’s not as bad as Danica’s”). I’ve bought more shampoo, hand soap and shaving cream in one year than most people buy in their lifetime. I’ve had to take the toilet off after he’s flushed two $400 tracking bracelets (never found them). I’ve had to hide the plunger because he kept sucking on it. I’ve walked into church embarrassed with Aaron in dirty, smelly, food smeared clothes because he asked me to wear a particular shirt (a huge feat for a mostly nonverbal kiddo).

Keeping perspective and finding the humor in the crazy things Aaron does keeps my attitude in check and quite honestly it’s a lot more fun to camp out there than in a puddle of tears.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

mother holding baby clothes
Why Is Getting Rid of Baby’s Old Clothes So Hard?
By Natalie Gontcharova
chrissy teigen at home with her 4 children
Chrissy Teigen Shares the Hardest Part of Being a Mom of Four
By Wyndi Kappes
tired mom holding baby in nursery
Why Black Moms Face Higher Rates of Burnout (and How to Cope)
By A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
ADVERTISEMENT
mother in deep thought while holding baby
How the Concept of ‘Matrescence’ Can Help You Navigate Parenthood
By Natalie Gontcharova
Michael Vaughn tik tok about reducing mental stress for wife
One Dad's Viral Tips for Reducing Your Partner's Solo Parenting Stress
By Wyndi Kappes
Even America’s Comedy King Jack Black Struggles With Parenting Anxiety
Even America’s Comedy King Jack Black Struggles With Parenting Anxiety
By Wyndi Kappes
mom hugging young child
How to Cope With the Emotional Aftermath of Another School Shooting
By The Bump Editors
ADVERTISEMENT
mother pondering while sitting on bed with baby
What to Know About Postpartum Psychosis
By Nehal Aggarwal
mother cuddling newborn baby
8 Things New Parents Can Do for an Easier Postpartum Period
By Elena Donovan Mauer
exhausted mother playing with toddler
Parental Burnout Is Real—Here’s How to Cope
By Marygrace Taylor
ADVERTISEMENT
mother and baby reading a book on the couch at home
What TikTok’s “Scrunchy Moms” Want You to Know
By Wyndi Kappes
James Van Der Beek attends the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
James Van Der Beek's Viral Parenting Hack for Roadtripping With Six Kids
By Wyndi Kappes
mother holding sleeping baby on sofa at home
20 Positive Parenting Affirmations to Boost Your Mental Health
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
mother holding and comforting baby at home
What Over 70 Percent of Millennial Moms Aren’t Telling You
By Wyndi Kappes
worried mother holding baby while looking out of the window at home
Why Moms Need to Shift Their Perspective on Asking for Help
By Nehal Aggarwal
annoyed mother sitting at table with toddler
The Truth About Mom Rage and How to Tame Your Inner Anger
By Lauren Barth
mother looking at her baby with the ocean in the background
Adjusting to Motherhood May Take Longer Than You Think (and That’s OK)
By Kylie McConville
ADVERTISEMENT
Allyson Felix Opens Up About Her NICU Journey With Daughter Camryn
Allyson Felix Opens Up About Her NICU Journey With Daughter Camryn
By Nehal Aggarwal
Busy mom entertains her young children at home with a stuffed animal pig.
Mom-Founded Brand Is Setting Up a PTO Fund to Help Moms Take Time Off
By Nehal Aggarwal
dad working from home while his toddler is sitting on his shoulders
How to Ground Yourself for Pandemic Parenting Challenges
By Hunter Clarke-Fields
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List