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Jill Rodriguez
Expert Name: Jill Rodriguez
Expert Title: Jill Rodriguez
Company Name:  Guest Blogger
Company URL: N/A
Short Bio: I am a mother of 3 children, one who has autism. My daughter is newly diagnosed with autism. My journey has just started but I've learned a lot. I started blogging in hopes of giving advice to families that are on the same journey. My blogs are based on experiences I've had with my daughter.

Autism Parent Diaries: With Acceptance Comes Understanding

When I found out my daughter had autism I was devastated. So many questions went through my head, like…Will she make friends? Will she be able to keep up with her classmates? What is the next step that I need to take? I was just so scared and confused. Every day is a struggle for my daughter and I. She is nonverbal so I have to figure out what she wants. When she is sick she can’t tell me, I have to tell by looking at her. When she is hungry she will point to food, but I have to give her choices. We have to have a routine or she will have a meltdown. An outing for us is not just grab your coat and go. I have to make sure I have her favorite drinks, snacks and toys to try to prevent a meltdown. Some meltdowns can be prevented, but not all. Where we go depends on if it is too noisy or too many lights. Most kids with autism have sensory issues so, many parents can’t go to certain places.

There are many issues that surround the diagnosis of autism, but there are also many joys. Every little accomplishment is a big accomplishment for me. When my daughter was able to recognize her letters, shapes and numbers I was filled with joy. When she learned to hold the toothbrush to brush her teeth, I was so excited. When she learned to zip up and zip down her coat I was super happy. I could finally let some stress out knowing that my daughter will do great with my help and the schools help.

It is a difficult but joyous journey when raising a child with autism. In order for my child to be accepted I have to help spread autism awareness. There are so many people who don't understand what autism is. It is a very complex disability. We all need to come together and spread autism awareness. First we can learn what autism is and then help educate other people. Acceptance and understanding is the key for my child and many children on the spectrum.