‘Thank you, sis, for checking in even when I don’t always check on you back.’: Mom to son with autism says ‘check on your special needs family or friend, they may not know they need it’

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“Dear sister,

Thank you for calling just now, and sorry that 25 minutes in, I realized I had not shut up once.

I’d started on a happy note, joking about my love getting home from work today.

I skipped quickly into the events of what has been a sh*t show of a morning, and then I crashed into the stresses of raising a child with autism.

I whined about driving to school three times a day.

I whined about not getting any food right for Rory.

I cried about how he won’t drink enough and I’m constantly googling dehydration symptoms and a list of other worries. 

I crashed there.

I crashed at autism.

I told you my worries, and I panicked a bit.

I know I always talk about it.

It’s like I’m always complaining about how hard life is sometimes.

I must sound so precocious and self-absorbed.

I’m so sorry; I must be such a pain in the ass to talk to.

And that’s just the thing, you called me, but I hadn’t stopped for a second to ask why you were calling.

I didn’t realize I was even that chaotic this morning, I didn’t realize.

‘Oh my god, Katie. I am so sorry. You called me. Is everything okay?’

Your answer was perfect.

‘Don’t be sorry, I cannot relate at all. I can’t. I hate how hard it is for you and I feel your worries too. You’re doing amazing. Don’t feel bad for venting to me, ever.’

Turned out, she had been awkwardly sitting in her car waiting for me to pause so she could go into the gas station.

So she called me to check in.

In turn, I checked everything out of my system and now it’s stopped.

The anxiety, it stopped for a while. It washed away.

Thank you, sis, for checking in even when I don’t always check on you back.

Check in on your special needs family or friend. They may not know they need it, you may not know what to say, but checking in does help.”

Courtesy of Lucy Watts

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lucy Watts. You can follow her journey on Facebook and InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Lucy:

‘Last night, I had a dream my non-verbal son said, ‘I love you.’ I awoke in tears. Deep in my heart, I wish I could hear his voice.’: Special needs mom says ‘I hope he knows how much I love him’

‘My son may not look at you all the time, but he absolutely sees you.’: Mom shares lessons from autistic son

‘Today social media attacked autism. It mocked, insulted, and made fun of people like my boy.’: Mom to son with autism responds to ‘ugly’ TikTok challenge

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