As some of you may know (or may not know), my son has a form of Autism.
He was originally diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was 5.
I think that for most parents, the diagnosis is the hard part.
For me, the diagnosis was relief.
I finally had a name and reasoning behind what we were dealing with.
I have decided to share 10 things that I, as a parent, have learned about Autism.
Everything in this list is formed from my own opinion. I understand if you do not agree!
1. There is NO cookie cutter form for Autism. Just like every “normal” person is different, so is every Autistic person.
2. Autism affects every single moment of your life. It alters your day to day living.
3. Autistic kids, even non-verbal ones, are often more aware than they seem. It may seem like they are not paying attention when, in reality, they are hanging on your every word.
4. Everyone stares.
Why does everyone stare?
Are they curious?
Are they being judgmental?
I have just started staring right back.
5. I do not use the word Autistic in my house. My son has learned from various sources that he can use his Autism as an excuse for poor behavior. We do not accept this. At home, he is treated like a “normal” kid. Autism is not an excuse.
6. My son has Autism but Autism can't have my son.
This goes with #5. I do not let my son fall into behaviors or patterns of actions simply because he has Autism. We have high expectations of him and we are going to do whatever it takes to help him get there.
7. Fixation/Obsession sucks. A lot of kids with Autism fixate on things and obsess on every aspect of these things. I know way more than I need to know about Super Mario, The Titanic and Submarines lost at sea.
8. Just because my son is “High Functioning” and verbal, doesn't mean that I do not deal with the issues that are prominent with Autism. I do. I deal with a lot of them.
9. I feel like too many parents of Autistic children are afraid to “parent”. Afraid to have expectations of their Autistic children. Afraid to punish or reprimand their Autistic children. I think Autism scares the parenting out of some people.
10. There is NOT enough Autism awareness. Too many people only have a vague notion of what Autism is and it is usually completely off. The spectrum is large and there is so much that we do not understand.
Autism has become a part of my life. It is there, everyday, in one form or another.
I wouldn't change it.
I love my boy with all of my heart.
I love everything that he is and I love what he has taught me.