3 Stages of the Autism Journey: Denial, Anger & Acceptance

Autism Journey
autism journey

Navigating the Waves: The Autism Journey

Autism Journey

At the beginning of the autism journey, you may feel like suddenly been thrown into the water after learning that someone you love has autism. You are now trying to swim but do not know how. Panic sets in as you try all kinds of strokes, barely managing to stay afloat. It is common to have this kind of feeling at the initial stage of living with autism. In fact, no one ever thinks this will happen to them.

For those living with autism, there are three main stages they will go through:

1. Denial

At first, when someone mentions that you may want to check if your child is OK, you may start asking questions like, “How can this be true?”, “No way, she’s a normal kid, how can she be autistic?” or “Are you sure?” Some parents may actually stay at this stage and never proceed to accepting the truth. It is quite pitiful for the child, as autism will be with them throughout their life, and it will be detrimental if they do not pick up the right skills to cope with it. Denial may be more prevalent in our society, where we do not want to lose face or be ashamed of having an autistic child.

2. Anger/Confusion/Self-Searching

When more than one person starts to point out that there may be an issue with your child, you may become irritated and angry. You begin to ask yourself questions like, “Why? Why me? Why my kid?” You begin some soul-searching and sometimes even self-blaming.

At this phase, you may be confused about the whole new world of autism. The world seems different to you now as you try to learn what autism is, and suddenly your life is changed. You start to change your normal pattern of living and re-schedule your time coping with autism. Your world seems to be turned upside down. You look for help everywhere, in every direction.

You are lost! Almost all the things you previously learned about autism came from TV, radio, and small talk. Unfortunately, they are almost all negative portrayals of autism. You are afraid and feeling alone.

3. Acceptance

At this stage, you learn to cope with autism, learning to live with it and accepting the fact that it is something you need to acknowledge and move on with. You begin to embrace autism, see the world as your child sees it, and not how a “normal” person sees it. You begin to share the experience with others and give your child whatever help he/she needs. Therapy becomes the main vocabulary of your daily life. You start to engage in activities that give your child skills to cope with the world, and you find yourself understanding more and more about autism each day.

These phases may be iterative. You may suddenly fall back to the stage of self-blaming or even denial, especially in the first few years after learning the news. The purpose of this site is hopefully to allow us to live normally with autism, act, and plan to cope with it. Through understanding autism and creating greater awareness through this site, I hope that you will not fall back into the stage of denial and confusion and loneliness. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I wish to share with you.

The Rollercoaster of Emotions During The Autism Journey

The journey with autism is often described as an emotional rollercoaster. One day, you may feel empowered and hopeful, while the next, you may be overwhelmed with frustration or sadness. It’s important to remember that these feelings are valid and part of the process.

Seeking Support

One of the most valuable things you can do is to seek support from others who understand what you’re going through. Join support groups, connect with autism organizations, and surround yourself with a community that can offer practical advice, emotional support, and a listening ear.

Celebrating Strengths and Embracing Neurodiversity during the Autism Journey

While autism comes with its challenges, it is also a unique way of being that offers many strengths and perspectives. Celebrate your loved one’s abilities, talents, and unique ways of thinking. Embrace neurodiversity and recognize that the world is enriched by the diversity of minds and experiences.

Advocating for Understanding and Acceptance during the Autism Journey

As you navigate this journey, you may find yourself becoming an advocate for greater understanding and acceptance of autism. Share your experiences, educate others, and work towards creating a more inclusive society that values and supports individuals on the spectrum.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. By fostering a supportive community, sharing our stories, and embracing the richness of neurodiversity, we can create a world where individuals with autism and their families can thrive.


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