Stop Letting Other People’s Opinions Steal Your Joy

by | Apr 15, 2024

As a mother of a newly diagnosed autistic child, you’re probably on tenterhooks.  No doubt a feeling of overwhelm and stress envelopes you.  Or maybe you’re having a great day, despite all of your challenges that are presented to you, you’re taking the higher road, that is, until someone says something that steals your joy.  Steals the light within you and leaves you feeling flat, deflated, and unable to see the path forward.

First of all, can I say mumma those people that say those ignorant comments are living more in their own world than yours.  Those words that come from their lips are a huge reflection of themselves and what they’re going through rather than anything that’s going on with you.

Society, these days, are so focussed on themselves that when a comment is said, it’s because that person is working through something within their own lives.

Fear not.  Not all of society are as self-involved as these people.

So, to help you on this journey, I want to share with you 6 strategies that will help you on your way.

  1. Trust your parenting instincts.

People can say whatever they want to say, if you feel in your gut, in your heart of hearts, that this is the right decision to go forward with, do it.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said a 1000 times, you know your child better than any GP, specialist, paediatrician, speech therapist or OT.  You get to decide what’s right for them.

  1. Set boundaries with confidence.

For the longest of time, I would laugh off hurtful comments and later come home in a crying mess.  Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to be assertive.  Sometimes, people are unaware that your child has autism, especially if they’re high functioning.  They may in fact think that they’re typical and therefore they’re comparing your child to their neurotypical child.  However, as we know this just isn’t the case and can cause so much pain and unnecessary stress.

  1. Focus on what truly matters.

There were times in my life, that if someone would have said something I would have taken it to heart.  I would have taken their opinion of the situation at hand as if it were gospel.  At the time, I would have been overwhelmed with grief and uncertainty with no real understanding of how to move forward.  What I needed to do was look at what my angel boy needed.  What were the biggest points I needed to focus on in order to move the needle.  As I’m sure you’ve heard before, what works for one autistic child, works for one autistic child.  Each child is different and by testing and measuring what works for your child is the only way forward.

  1. Practice self-compassion.

Please do me this one favour.  Go and grab a post it note and write the following phrase: “I don’t have all of the answers and that’s ok.”  Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to know what the right next move is, when in actual fact, we’re trying to find a needle in a haystack in the middle of the night with a torchlight.  Give yourself some grace!  Breathe.  Refocus.  Run the S.I.N.G strategy (if you don’t know what this is, DM me and I’ll share it with you) and remember that you’re only human and you can only take one step at a time.

  1. Find your tribe.

I didn’t find my tribe straight away.  I was too consumed with grief, blame and shame to reach out for support, so I silently tried to manage on my own.  Please don’t do what I did.  Reach out for support.  This is why I’m such a big proponent for mums attending my coffee and connection events.  You get to meet other mums going through a similar journey and in that moment, you feel less alone, less isolated, and more like you can achieve the next step with these group of women surrounding you.

  1. Embrace your authenticity.

Like or lump it, the way you show up day in and day out will directly impact your autistic child.  Allowing other people’s negative opinions to impact the way you show up, is in fact, impacting your child.  Don’t let them ‘should’ all over you.  You know you should do this, or you should do that……  People haven’t walked in your shoes, don’t give them the power to make the decisions for you.

I hope these 6 strategies can serve you so that you can stop letting other people’s opinions steal your joy.


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