One of the most impactful lessons I learned from my wonderful Early Childhood Family Education teacher was that child development is a series of ebbs and flows, much like the tide. I have hung onto this rhythmic imagery as I have parented my sons. It eases my stress in times when we seem to be going nowhere or even rushing back to developmental places I thought were long behind us.
As with all things with autism, the ebbs and flows analogy applies to my son with autism, but to a much greater degree. Our ebbs are severe, and our flows are giddy and disorienting. Often I find myself standing, fixed, on shifting sand as a bulwark against these swirling developmental forces.
But sometimes with autism we get stuck, or we lose our moorings, or the sand erodes beneath our feet so rapidly that we lose our footing.
Serving as the executive director for CEA has been a privilege and something that anchored me to a community that honors families living with autism. So many times it brought me back to steady footing. I delighted in forging partnerships and programs that would support families like mine. I gained inspiration and fortitude from the stories of other families. And I have drawn strength from those professionals and parents who worked alongside me to fully engage families living with autism in their homes, schools and community.
Finding a community that supports you for who you are isn’t always easy. In CEA, we have found that. I am incredibly grateful to have been part of this organization and to have been entrusted with leading it.
CEA is the bulwark standing against an unpredictable tide. It remains constant as our community and families develop around it. I will continue to tap into its strength and knowledge as my family continues our journey. And I hope to always be connected, firmly, to this inspiring community.