Today is Autism Awareness Day. The spectrum for Autism is so new and vast for a lot of people that they will tend to unfairly lump any kid who may be struggling into it. This is sad to me. Not just as a mother or as a professional who has dealt with kids that have an autism diagnosis, but as a human who sees that the majority of us are different and lovely. Our quirks, struggles, and uniqueness should never be an area of torment or improper diagnosis but that of acceptance and learning.
But I have a son on the Autism Spectrum. He has good and bad days which is inherently human.
When you, yourself, know your kid may fall into this ‘category’ it can be overwhelming and terrifying.
It is fairly easy to look for something to blame. The weather, the pregnancy, the immunizations, the environment, your faith, etc.
Thing is, nothing is put into your life if you don’t have the stuff to learn how to handle it.
I suspected things might be awry with my son when he was as young as 18 months but kept quiet.
His speech skills were slower, his mood swings were more elevated, if he didn’t have a routine that was consistent, his day was a mess.
He only ate 4 foods, he slept erratically, and generally life was exhausting. But I didn’t feel like labeling a baby.
As he got older, the need for routine grew more intense. His moods were our life predictors and if he didn’t sleep with somebody, nobody slept.
We decided he would share a room with his sister, a really great decision considering it’s one of the few ways he has learned to 1. Sleep through the night and 2. Actively engage with us on a more personal level.
We suffered through bad speech and occupational therapists and good ones. We went through spirals with his behaviors and moods and we had great days, weeks, or months as well.
Professionals will often tell you that you need to do a lot of things to get your kid to be the same as other ‘normal kids’ but I don’t really embrace this.
My child is something rare, really they both are, and it’s very beautiful.
There may be days where, no, he doesn’t engage with you and his routine may be thrown by something you never even noticed so your ears will ring and you collapse into bed frustrated with yourself.
Then, there are days where you are able to take him to the park and he runs and shouts with glee the entire time.
He goes to the potty every time and is okay that you tried something new for lunch.
He love robots and superheroes and his nightlight penguin, Coco, and he will steal your glasses.
He looks just like his mother but the way he moves reminds you of his father.
He sits next to you and before he cuddles up for his nap, he turns your chin to look him in the eye and says “I love you.”
You draw him a box and say, “What’s this?” and he says, “A pirate ship!”
You are raising The Little Prince, a child more content with the stars than with others.
To me, this is more than okay. He will be 5 in a few months and he has a more severe diagnosis now.
Doctors have asked me about meds for him and people have asked “What do you intend to do with him?”
I intend to let him be. I will let him grow up. I will help him the best that I can but I won’t ask him to be a different person.
I already love him for who he is. That is the best that I can offer him.
I will give him everything else that I can but I think the parent of any child, not just one with ASD, does their baby right but accepting who they are.
Sparkles and Glitter,