I Was Waiting to Connect with My Autistic Son and I Almost Missed the Love that Was Already There

| 5 minute read |

When we’re exhausted and completely emptied by the demands of motherhood, the connection we feel with our little ones is our lifeline. They nestle in for a cuddle, murmur an “I love you,” and a divine transfer seems to occur, giving us the strength to go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again.

But what happens when connecting isn’t effortless, the way we may have expected?

We found out that our son is autistic just after his second birthday. In those early days, I often described him as being “in his own little world.” As long as he had a full tummy and a clean diaper, he was content to play with his favorite toys for hours on end, without any interaction from me. In the months that followed, we grew so much in our understanding of him. At the time, though, I felt like he didn’t need me, and my heart sunk at the thought.

Of course, when our kids have run us ragged and we’ve heard “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” more times than we can count, not being needed sounds heavenly. But when you long to hear your name called, it aches. While my fellow toddler moms were scouring the internet for the secret to independent play so they could get a moment of peace, I had the opposite problem. I silently wished for an invitation into my son’s world.

One day, I read a powerful statement that gave me pause. On Instagram, @nigh.functioning.autism wrote, “One of the toughest parts about being Autistic is realizing that how I exist in the world makes people I love feel lonely even when I’m around them.”

Click here to read the full piece at Her View From Home.

Published by Ellie Hunja

Ellie is a mother of two (ages 7 & 3) who's on a journey to cultivate a life of purpose, authenticity, and joy. She writes about parenting, autism awareness, mental health, faith, racial justice, and more. She believes that empathy and vulnerability can change the world, and that there is ALWAYS room for dessert.

One thought on “I Was Waiting to Connect with My Autistic Son and I Almost Missed the Love that Was Already There

  1. No matter how many times I read and reread your posts, each piece touches my heart so deeply. I think your writing must be therapeutic to you on some level, but I also think of all the people you reach and how comforting and inspiring your experiences are. The fact you’re able to put it into words so beautifully is truly a gift. I’ve said it a million times and I’m sure I’ll say it a million more, but I’m proud of you sweetheart. Thank you for taking so many of us with you on this journey of love and learning. xoxo


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