Alexandria & Gabe

"Some of the things I noticed about Gabe that prompted us to get him evaluated was he was not meeting some milestones that he was supposed to meet around the age of two. He wasn’t speaking at all and he didn’t respond much to his name. He didn’t point or was able to look at what someone else was pointing at. He would rather play by himself that with others and had alot sleep issues.

The hardest thing about having a child with special needs is seeing other kids around him seem to have very normal lives and do all of the usual things young kids do and worrying if he will ever have that or even want that. It’s hard knowing that he may get mistreated or bullied for his differences and worrying about his quality of life. The hardest part was accepting the diagnosis and not trying to blame myself for it. The best part of it was getting to learn his world in his way and seeing him come so far and make so many improvements in such a short time frame. I LOVE the person he is and I’m in love with his personality and his character. His gifts and talents are big but his heart is even bigger. I’m so proud of him everyday.

What has been most helpful for you as a parent navigating the joys and struggles of having a child with autism is reaching out to other moms who also have kids on the spectrum. Having a strong support system is crucial! It helps you feel less isolated and more supported in this journey. Having my husband by my side through this as well has been my greatest crutch through this. We are a team and we try our best everyday to be the best parents we can be to our kids.

Some advice I would give to parents who also have kids on the spectrum would be to always advocate for your child, for some children on the spectrum you will be their voice. Always remain patient with them. Remember that they are adjusting and navigating in the world as best as they can and in their own way, some days it will be overwhelming for them. Be their safe place and create a safe place for them. Always try to reach them on their level, wherever that is. Remember on the tough days, that they may not be giving you a hard time but they may be having a hard time. Never give up hope!  Things will get better. As long as they are loved and taken care of, they have all they need to thrive."

To learn more about Alexandria & Gab's adventures: 

Instagram: @alisantiago71