Receiving Help from a Mom’s Perspective

Posted on: November 12th, 2019 by Jessie Topalov

I’m new to the world of motherhood, two years and two babies new.  Before the world of motherhood, I spent my time building and growing a company to provide ABA therapy (applied behavior analysis) to create the best possible outcome for each child/adult we serve across funding sources.  I could write for days about access to care and why I started my work, but today I want to write as a mama.

Motherhood Changes Everything

When I became a mom my world changed the instant I held Henry, now two, in my arms.  I thought I was prepared for motherhood because of my background in early intervention and years of experience in the field of ABA.  Boy was I wrong. Babies don’t come with a guide book and each little someone comes out with different needs. Needs that require more care than I imagined.

Initially, I struggled.  I struggled with lack of sleep, with (what felt like) non-stop breastfeeding, with a new dynamic in my marriage. Mostly, though, I struggled with postpartum depression.  I thought I could “will” my way out of this disorder and I couldn’t.

I thought that if I just got a little more sleep and just a little more help that I could fight my way out. Trying to beat postpartum depression alone didn’t work. I needed a team of people just to help me become myself again.  The days were long but I made it through to the other side of my depression after months of struggling.

Photo of mom with two boysDuring my healing journey, I realized two things. One was that I couldn’t win the fight against postpartum depression alone. The other was that I will do anything for my child.  Throughout the journey I thought about all the other moms out there struggling, but this time from a mom’s perspective rather than a clinician’s analytical take.

Look For A Helping Hand

Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I imagine this is true for most of us.  Whether you struggled because of a postpartum condition or because your child is differently-abled or even just because parenthood is in itself hard, the mountain feels steep if you go at it alone. I’m here to offer a helping hand because no one should have to tackle motherhood totally alone. Think of me as a part of your “mom tribe.”

Let’s flip the narrative for a second. I know that if one of my children was the one in need of therapy that I would want the best available care as soon as possible.  I would want my son (now sons, see adorable Declan to the left with big brother Henry!) to be wrapped in support from people I trust. I would want help from a “mom tribe”.

Being A Mother To A Child With Autism

With that in mind, why didn’t I immediately try to find the best care options for myself? I was confused and scared when I needed to find treatment for myself. I didn’t know where to go or even where to start.  I imagine this is how many families feel when their child receives a diagnosis of autism. What is the right reaction to this diagnosis?

Here’s some good news; autism is just a label, not a person.  An autism diagnosis means that your child learns differently than other children. Your child is special and will have many gifts to offer. The world would be a different place without ASD (autism spectrum disorders). I’ve said it a million times; people with autism are my favorite people.

So from a mom to a mom (or dad) just know that your child deserves access to care and you deserve an autism therapy team you can trust.

IABA Consultants: ABA Therapy For Your Family

If your child is three years old or younger, early intervention with clinic-based ABA therapy (at least 20 hours a week) is what the experts recommend.  I’ve seen miracles first hand with the children we support. What children can learn at an early age is incredible.

While my clinical team isn’t perfect, they are real and believe in every child who walks in our front door.  The IABA team has become a great resource for both children with autism and their parents. We’re doing our part from our little corner of the world and I’m doing my best to make it through motherhood with all its ups and downs. Not solo this time, promise.

XOXO,
Jessie

Come visit our Naperville ABA Therapy Clinic, meet the friendly staff and get the best possible treatment in order to enhance your child’s skills and create long-lasting results.