How we can apply this value to the exceptional military family is by acting boldly, despite the fears, anxieties, complexities and uncertainty that raising children with autism causes in the home. Have you ever asked any of the following?
“Will I choose the right treatment methods to help my child?”
“Will I be able to handle all the additional stress and burden that comes with autism?”
“Will I be able to handle the additional stress it is putting on our marriage?”
“Is it even worth it for me to stay in this marriage and family or am I better just cutting ties and bailing on them?”
“How will we be able to afford the additional financial burdens that autism brings to the family budget?”
“How will my wife handle the special needs of my kids while I am deployed? Will she be able to do it on her own without me?”
“What will happen if I get killed in combat? How could she endure with the kids then and how could she continue on in the struggle at home without my support?”
“How can we fight this well-financed school district with their high-profile law firms because we disagree with the way they are educating my autistic child?”
“Where will I ever find the strength to fight and advocate for my child’s rights and for their acceptance in society?”
We have asked all of these questions in our family! Sometimes we’ll even still find ourselves asking them today!
Courage is not acting without fear, it is acting despite fear. Those fears are still there but you choose to hang on to a higher order, or higher power that allows you to function anyway with the hope that it is all going to work out for the best that it can.
It takes personal courage to do the right thing for your family, for your spouse, for your children. It takes faith in action when you are put into uncomfortable situations that you know only you are assigned with. Personal courage allows for you to act, despite those fears, anxieties, complexities and uncertainty.
Our family has found comfort to answer many of these questions in our Christian faith. We move forward boldly into those fearful areas of the unknown that care for our autistic kids requires such as IEPs, due processes, treatments, rights for the disabled and many others that require our action. Many of which we’re NOT prepared for. But, we do it anyway. We believe that if we put forth the effort, God will provide the assist and help clear obstacles to success for us. We have this faith in our choice of treatment methods, the educational rights we advocate for, the choices we make in vaccinations and many other areas of life.
All require personal courage.
You have it too. In life, you are never given anything that you haven’t been first properly prepared for – even if you don’t even know it yet. Your autistic kiddos have been provided to you for a purpose. If you didn’t already demonstrate personal courage in your life, you would have never been given the gift (and challenge) of raising an autistic child!