“I have never felt alone again thanks to (P2P).”

Hello and thank you for listening to my story:

My son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Global Developmental Delays in November of 2007, at almost 4 years old.  Even though Autism is one of the largest developmental disabilities to date, I felt all alone.  I struggled with his diagnosis and the constant feelings of failure.  I didn’t know how to handle him or how to deal with Autism.  I had no idea what was to come of anything.  I was angry that my son was not “normal”, I felt guilty that I was angry.  I felt guilty, sure that I had done something wrong to cause his problems.  I FELT LOST!  I found the Arc of Snohomish County and it took me a few months to get the courage to go to my first Mother’s Network meeting, for fear of more failure.  Here I was sure were women who “got it” and understood and knew what they were doing, while I knew nothing.

I remember the first few meetings, I would sit and listen and try not to cry (I cried a lot). I was sure they would tell me everything I was doing wrong, or I wasn’t doing enough.  THAT NEVER HAPPENED!!  I found a group of women who CARE!!  I found a group of women who did understand and told me often that I was a great mom and my son was beautiful!!  I found a place that I could be brutally honest about anything, and I am never judged.  I am supported, I am loved!  I know that I can call these women in the middle of the night and cry if I need to.  I know that I can be angry about Autism and how hard it is for my son to go through, what most take for granted, a trip to the grocery store.  They are there to cheer when he learns a new task…at 5 he became potty trained!!  This past month, we were able to go out to lunch with friends, and he was able to sit at the table for an hour and not have a meltdown for the first time EVER!!  Things most people take for granted are celebrated with these women, and I could never repay what I have gained from them!!

It has meant the world to me to be able to get support from the Parent to Parent groups through the Arc.  I have never felt alone again thanks to them.

Thank you,
Serena Roycroft