In December of 2020 my then 2-year-old son Walt was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I went through a variety of complicated emotions I compare to the stages of grief. It kind of is like grief in that you are grieving for a life you once thought your child had ahead of them. It turned everything upside down as we suddenly were forced to adjust our expectations for our son’s future. One of the biggest comforts in all this was discovering stories from other parents of kids with autism. Hearing what they went through helped me figure out what the future meant for my son and made everything a little less scary.
Here are a few of my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram. Even if you don’t have a child with autism, these are good accounts to follow to learn more:
I started following this account because the story was so compelling. These two brothers were both diagnosed with autism at a young age. Because of how their autism manifested, they soon discovered that the two boys couldn’t be around each other. The two parents had to move into seperate homes with each child in order to keep everyone safe. Their father shares their story on this Instagram account along with his personal struggles. It’s a must follow for any parent that thinks they’re alone as they deal with their child’s autism.
It’s no secret how much I love this account. Jackie started the Summer Shirt Project to teach Jordyn, her adult daughter with autism, some job skills to take with her when it was time to leave school. What they originally thought would be a small business selling maybe 40 shirts over the summer quickly turned into a thriving company all thanks to social media. On their account not only do they share about their current stock of Be Kind to Everyone shirts, but they also talk about what they have learned through the years of working with Jordyn’s autism.
I’ve only just found this account and I’m so glad I did. Kate Swenson started a blog when her son was younger and it quickly went viral after a video she posted after a hard day with Cooper. What I love about her is she talks about the things that a lot of parents don’t want to say out loud. The stuff that is so hard about raising a child with autism. She’s not afraid to have a breakdown on camera, something that I have done a lot in private. Kate also shares a lot about her home life with her other three kids that are all younger than Cooper. It’s a great follow for parents that also have kids that are not on the spectrum.
If you haven’t watched “Love on the Spectrum” on Netflix yet you are seriously missing out. It is the most heartwarming show and every episode makes me smile. Abby is one of the people we meet on season 1 of the US version of the show and it is hard to not fall in love with her. On her Instagram account you can continue to follow her journey, along with her new boyfriend David she met on the show. They are just the cutest thing ever!