Conversation to me is a lifeline.
Being able to talk, share, delve, learn, grow, explore within another persons psyche to me, makes life so very interesting and the people I hold dear are those with whom I get to talk to daily and always am able to speak frankly and openly about everything and anything.
When you have a child with Autism you don’t always get to share with them in this fashion. Autistics have difficulty sharing,socializing and verbalizing.
That is just a fact and it isn’t worth trying to fighting, instead, you need to work with it, encourage sharing (even if it is only about your childs very structured set of likes and/ or dislikes) sharing is sharing after all.
There will be many conversations that you will find yourself feigning interest in – a hognosed snake or star-nosed mole simply because your child is SO passionate about it that you can’t help but smile and feel your heart burst in your chest with pride and the comfort that they are sharing and they wish to share with you.
This picture to me symbolizes the years I have spent worrying about my son and his ability to function in the world beyond my door. It shows me there is great progress being made and that he is going to be able to do it.
For those who do not have experience with Autism you might be thinking that seems harsh as a Mother to feel your child can’t function out of their childhood home and I agree.
But it is the truth. No matter how ugly it is.
Some children will not be able to stand alone in the world and be ok. Some will not be able to simply walk into the store and go grocery shopping, hold down a job, drive a car or meet someone and fall in love. Be a parent. Worry about their own child.
This is the reality of it.
Autism is not natural for me. I am not autistic.
As a Mother of a child on the spectrum I try to watch my son and react as best as I can to help him. I offer him space to be himself and to grow. I do not smother his ways, I try to understand them, I do not invalidate them nor try to change them. I try not to be judgemental. It is hard.
Society has set out ‘expectations of normal’ and even being very open and accepting there are times I look and wonder why he just can’t act ‘normal’. I hate myself for these times, but I would be lying if I said they never happened.
I hate that the world can be harsh on people that are different because I wouldn’t care at all about being different if I didn’t know that it is a fact that he will one day be ridiculed for it or made to feel bad for it.
I think different is beautiful.I think my son is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Sometimes I look at him and I wish more people were just like him. Straightforward, earnest and free of restrictions on thoughts.
He enjoys things for the basic reason they make he smile or laugh or make him think. He thinks we should all be more like hippopotamuses because he finds them captivating and being a cow is a great thing in his opinion. Snakes and frogs are interesting because of the way they hunt and survive.
Last night when he stroked his baby cousins face (as he often does when he likes someone…he “touches their skin” to feel close to them) and he looked up into his Aunts eyes and spoke to her about his cousin, an easy back and forth conversation, a little voice inside me told me it was ok. Things would be ok. Give more time, let him stretch his wings and fly when he is ready.
It is a game of patience and I am not always the most patient person but I have learned that amazing things will happen if you give it space to happen.