Running a Marathon is like Running a Son-Rise Program for Autism

My reflections as I ran a half marathon.

When the road takes you uphill, think of it as an opportunity! For me it’s a way to conquer mind over matter.
– Nothing is either “good” or “bad.” Only judgement dictates how you see conditions in front of you. Autism is neither “good” or “bad.” I choose to see my son’s autism as a blessing. It has certainly made me a better parent and a better person, able to love my son (and other people) asking for nothing in return.

That lucky lady had super long legs! It felt like for every long stride she took, I needed to take 3 small steps to catch up! But why compare…it only means I need to take my tiny steps and move a little faster.
– Everyone’s situation is different. Some families have more than one special-needs kids, some have more resources to pay for therapy some don’t, some have helpers to assist some don’t, some have supporting spouses some don’t, some have more volunteers some have less, etc. Given what I have, I can still find different ways to effectively run my Son-Rise Programs…I just have to take those small steps and move a little faster.

When a 3-lane race turns into a 1-lane bottleneck, just when you feel the energy and are ready to increase speed, there is not use getting upset about it (I almost did). The cause is external, why resist? Enjoy the time to relax pace and save the energy for later.
– Sometimes, especially with biomedical interventions,
autism symptoms get better or regression might happen. I cannot control regression. All I can do is relax knowing that Nathan is simply trying to get over a hump….soon we will be on a 3-lane road again and we can run a faster pace again.

Run your own pace. Instead of trying to catch up with the runner in front, or feeling good that there are runners behind, I focused on my pace, gaged my energy, sprinted when I had energy and rested when I needed to conserve.
– Early in my journey with autism, I used to envy parents with kids who had milder forms of autism thinking they would get to the finish line long before we even get a glimpse of it. But I’ve learned that the use of envy only drains the energy I need to keep me going. Today I choose to celebrate all the parents with special-needs kids and cheer for all their successes. Instead if my energy being drained by envy, my energy is enriched by celebrating others.

After writing it all down, running a Son-Rise Program for autism sounds so simply and easy. Well, it’s not as easy but I have had constant help from The Autism Treatment Center of America. Along the way, I have met and kept in touch with amazing Son-Rise parents and volunteers who inspire us to keep running our Son-Rise marathon.