My message is simple and clear: as parents, siblings, family members, teachers, professionals or support staff of those on the autism spectrum, we are part of the autism equation. We have our own emotional experience that develops in response to living with autism, and it deserves understanding, attention, and support. In finding support for ourselves and learning to live peacefully and effectively in the face of the many challenges, we not only live more empowered lives ourselves, but we maximize our ability to help our loved one on the spectrum. My mission is to help “the Rest of us” find peace and empowerment while also creating the most fertile ground possible for our loved ones to flourish, and we do this by seeking our spiritual and emotional peace and health.

Achieving the goal of spiritual and emotional peace can take many forms and possibly have many steps, but it starts with the recognition of the need and the willingness to pursue some activity that addresses the need. If you can only do one thing for a few minutes a day, sit quietly and feel. Give yourself a space to feel your feelings and allow them to be exactly what they are without criticism, editing or judgement.

Whatever feelings you experience are permissible, valid, and founded in reality. Start there. If it feels uncomfortable, consider the possibility that your feelings are an amazing guide directing you toward the things you need most. If you can’t feel anything now, that’s ok too. I remember being numb for a while when I first undertook the process of emotional and spiritual healing. That was just the indicator that I had stuffed my feelings away so ardently that it was going to take time for them to surface. For some, if your walk with autism is brand new, you might still be in some form of shock. Take heart my friend, wherever you are, peace, health and fulfillment can find you. And I am here to walk the walk with you!