Today’s post is in the same vein as a recent guest post by Shelby who spoke about her experience as a parent with a child with autism.
This post is written by my good friend Tamar who also reached out to see if I’d be interested in posting her story as a parent with an autistic child. Of course I was! As I’ve mentioned before, the feelings of parents are sometimes overlooked and I felt it important to share these stories.
If you would like to share your story of living with conditions such as ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or other conditions that are less spoken about, then please contact me via Twitter!!
Sometimes I forget. When I get annoyed when he doesn’t want to wear anything else than one of his three favourite shirts, even when he made me buy another one because he likes it so much.
Sometimes I forget. When he doesn’t want to eat anything else but one of the four dishes he will eat.
Sometimes I forget. When we have to make up yet another rule to regulate our day to day happenings.
Sometimes I forget how far we’ve come.
I forget how we had to hold him tight, sometimes for up to 45 minutes to make sure he wouldn’t hurt himself or others, just to calm him down.
I forget how I had to make a schedule and teach him to eat peas, pea by pea, every day one more.
I forget how unexpected things made him so upset that all he could do to deal with it was cry and make a scene.
Yes, sometimes I forget how far we’ve come, but then I remember again.
My kid is autistic and we all have to learn to live with that.
My kid is autistic, but he is no Rainman. He does have his own set of rules though. It means that things follow a specific order, every day the same. It means that, when we sometimes have to change the order, he will need more time to adjust. He will be loud. He will be trying to drown out the noises from outside himself. He will talk to himself, or just make sounds. He will retreat into himself and it will be hard to get through to him. He has learned his own coping mechanisms. They can be extremely annoying to others, though. But those are the moments when I have to remember how things were before. Sure, eating is still a difficult thing. Yes, we still have rules for about almost everything. But we don’t have any breakdowns anymore. I don’t have to count the peas anymore, and we can deviate from the rules more often.
He has come a very long way.
But then, sometimes I worry. I worry that he gets lost inside his mind and stops noticing the traffic when he’s outside.
I worry that he will get teased because he communicates differently from his classmates.
I worry that he will be used because he is just so naive and kind.
I worry that others will get angry with him because he places everything, including people, in specific boxes. Girls have long hair and like pink. Boys have short hair and like blue.
I worry that he won’t have any friends because it’s just hard to talk with him sometimes, not when you follow his topic, but when you want to talk about something else, he will just continue with his own story.
I worry that I won’t be able to make him as self sufficient as he needs to be to get by in the world.
Yes, my baby is autistic and I’m so proud of him. He’s so brave for facing the world every day with all those impressions that we just filter away automatically. He has to deal with them, all of them. Sometimes it goes great, and sometimes not so much, but he’s learning to deal with it.
Yes, he’s come such a long way.