Overcoming Fear: Navigating Autism’s Uncertain Path

by | Oct 5, 2023

Fear.  The emotion that comes barrelling into your life once you’ve heard those four words – “your child has autism.”  I’ve had numerous clients become stuck, unable to make decisions due to an overwhelming sense of fear.  Held back by an emotion that is so big and so toxic that as a mother, they felt like they couldn’t navigate through it.

As a coach as well as a mum with an autistic son, I truly know what fear is, how it presents, when it shows up and more importantly why it shows up.  The brain is such a super computer, yet its one downfall is that it cannot tell what is real and what isn’t real.  When you have a surge of adrenaline and cortisol, also known as the stress hormones, your body immediately goes into fight, flight or freeze mode.  The big problem here is that the brain is getting you ready for the imminent danger that is about to approach such a sabre tooth tiger or something else just as sinister.  Here right now as I type this at my desk in October 2023, we don’t have sabre tooth tigers roaming the streets, nor do we have black panthers rummaging through the supermarkets.  The stressors that we are going through include our children being triggered, us being triggered, our child having a meltdown, dealing with unsolicited advice from others, dealing with judgement from others, blame, shame and so much more.  The only threat to our survival in this day and age is the fearful unregulated thoughts that enter our mind.

This leads me to the famous quote – F.E.A.R – False Evidence Appearing Real.  If you can control your thoughts, you control your life.

For many mothers who receive the diagnosis, so many thoughts go through their heads.  Unfiltered thoughts.  No one is in your brain doing a quality check on the thoughts you produce.  Your conscious mind is the only one in charge of that, and when that quality check is out of order, when the conscious mind isn’t paying attention to what is being consumed, we become a salve to the thought.

A great example of when thoughts become toxic and too much to handle is when the thoughts wake you out of your subconscious slumber.

But there is a way out of this.  Is it easy?  No.  Can it be done?  Yes.

Change your thoughts change your life.

Three things I would encourage mothers of autistic children to look at:

  1. Environment – who are you hanging out with? What are you listening to?  What are you reading?  All of these components will play a part in how you process information and the thoughts that come up.
  2. Community – They say it takes a village to raise a typical child, well it takes a nation to raise a special needs child.  Find your people.  If you find a group and you don’t gel, don’t feel bad to leave the group, remember your boundaries and you ‘why’ for joining the group.
  3. Awareness – This one is a big one. Having the awareness of the thought in the first place will stop you from taking that thought down a rabbit hole of loss and desperation.

If, you as a mama bear of an autistic child, if you can look at these three factors, they will reduce the fears from exploding into enormous mountains of overwhelm and stress.

So, I ask you – are you looking at F.E.A.R as False Evidence Appearing Real or are you looking at F.E.A.R as Face Everything And Rise.

You get to choose.

If you’ve got any questions, please send me a DM or email.

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