Two Years Ago…

Two years ago, our lives changed forever. That’s when my daughter received her autism diagnosis. We finally had the answers to many questions we had, but honestly, there are even more questions I don’t know that we’ll ever have answers to.

I am not a “winging it” type of person. I like plans; I like having backups for those plans. What I like even more is having a backup to that backup. Autism parenting kind of throws that out of the window. Sure, I can make some plans like where she’s going to school and which doctor she’s going to see, but beyond that? Nope.

People ask me questions like:
“Will she ever talk ‘normal?’”
“Will she be able to go to regular school?”
“What caused her autism?”
“Will she ever live on her own?”

The answers to all of those questions are, “I have no idea.” That’s a hard reality to face at times, not knowing why your child is that way or if she will ever lead a self-sufficient life, but what I’ve come to learn is that it’s okay to not know the answers to these questions. I absolutely hope to find out answers to some of these questions, like what causes autism, but for now, we know a new “normal.” My normal may not look similar to 99.8% of the population–heck, it may not look like the normal to other autism families, either–but this is now our lives and that’s okay. It involves a lot of unknowns. It also involves a lot of hard work, but there’s a whole lot of love. There’s love from all directions: her family, her teachers, her therapists, her support staff, all of our friends.

We don’t know what the future holds for my daughter, but we are now surrounded by a massive team that will help us figure that out as we go.

To do my part, I am selling tees where 100% of the proceeds go to the amazing school she attends. It’s an amazing place that we are fortunate to have found and I’m unbelievably happy to have it be a part of our new “normal.”

This year’s designs can be found here:

Grammar Be Damned

My first blog post is surprisingly a very personal one. My daughter was diagnosed as autistic this week. After a year of doctor, therapy, and other specialist appointments, it is a good feeling to finally have an answer as to what’s going on with her. Having the answer will help us formulate a plan moving forward to get her the educational and therapeutic assistance she needs, so this is actually great news. In all honesty though, it sucks.

No one dreams of their child growing up with any sort of disability or challenge in life. I certainly never thought I would have to worry about having a child who couldn’t talk to me. (I’m long-winded and love to talk to anyone about anything, so it only makes sense that I would have a talker.) However, that’s exactly what happened. I am the lady who loves proper grammar so much that I created a business around it and now my daughter cannot string together a noun with a verb. I would give ANYTHING for my daughter to do so, proper grammar be damned. I don’t care what tense her verb is in, just give me a verb, kid.

Having an almost four year old who has daily meltdowns because she can’t tell you what she needs or is feeling is a big challenge. We are working on using other communication methods like sign language and pictograms to overcome this, but it’s still incredibly frustrating for us, the parents, and the adorable little human.

I wish I could wave my magic grammatical wand and make it all better for her. Poof! You are now able to speak in perfectly structured sentences. Love, The Grammatical Fairy Godmother.

Alas, it isn’t that easy.

Over time, I have the utmost faith in her gaining better communication abilities. At her new preschool (that actually specializes in the education of autistic children), she makes incredible strides daily and her speech therapist works her hard every single session. It’s just going to happen on her own timeline and in her own way. She may end up learning proper grammar along the way and she may not; I honestly don’t care at this point. It’s also not important right now; getting her to communicate in any way is important right now, grammar be damned.

Fundraiser for the School

My daughter is fortunate enough to go to an all-inclusive preschool where the educators tailor their teaching style and the lesson content to each kid’s needs and where the kids can have all of their therapies at the school. Educating and treating a child with autism is very costly. This is because staff to student ratios in programs like this are much smaller than that of a conventional school; they also have very qualified staffers educating and treating the children. Thanks to the school that she attends, it is affordable and we will be forever grateful for having access to the much needed early intervention our autistic child requires.

They cover the majority of the educational costs through grants and state funding, but a large portion is donated by ordinary people and businesses. I would like to assist in raising money for the school for many reasons, but the main ones are that I’d love the school to be around through the decades to come and I want more families to have access to their programs.

I am selling autism awareness t-shirts, sweatshirts, and totes in the shop to raise money for the school. 100% of the proceeds will go to the school that has changed our lives (Grammatical Art is donating all of the materials and labor). Please consider purchasing an item here:

Grammatical Art Autism Awareness Fundraiser

puzzle GA hoodie vneck tote