Long ago, I wrote our Top 11 Hardest Things About Our Autism. Now it’s time for the good part!
First I would like you to just soak in the absolute beauty of his gorgeous face.
This is more about how his autism relates to me….not him….
- He’s so SMART!! It’s so much fun!! I mean what parent doesn’t think their child is smart right? It’s true, I think my neurotypical is way smarter than me but it’s no secret that Silas is gifted in academics and music. It’s super fun having conversations by spelling out loud with your 3 and a half year old…it was pretty intense! It’s hard to share things with him now because he knows more than me, like cmon kid, I know some of my times tables but only up to 11…gimme a minute to figure out 13 x 42!!
- This is a bit in line with the last one but I’ve been dreading the day the kids will come to me with math homework. When I’m with my niece and she asks me a question I just laugh at her. Are you kidding me? Anyway, Silas won’t need help and hopefully, if we play it right, he’ll still be interested in it enough to help Isaac with his! Get out of jail free card!!!
- I have patience of steel. I mean, who can keep their cool in the middle of a grocery store while their child is screaming, you’re bleeding, baby is crying, people are looking?? I can…yup. I may have a cry after but I’m SO patient now. You should have seen me with him at first, I had about a quarter of the amount of patience. With a child with autism, you don’t want to make a big deal out of their negative behaviors, you want to be as poker faced as possible. It’s a bit of a challenge when their teeth are sunk into your skin like a badger and you need to keep your cool. It sucks at the time but I will never give back the patience I have earned from it.
- I have a new perspective on life. Silas sees the world so differently than I do. Silas sees beauty so differently than I do, and its amazing to see things his way.
- You get help raising your child. There were times where there were 5 or 6 intelligent adults in my living room, brainstorming ideas on how to get through behaviors. For that I will always be grateful. Every parent needs a think tank!
- TAX BENEFITS!! C’mon, who wouldn’t like that??
- I get to see development in a whole new way!! What parent celebrates and cries when their child first asks why? Or points at a bird in the sky? Or eats a carrot? Or picks up a small object? Or hugs them for the first time? Or looks in your eyes for the first time? Or shows empathy when you’re sad? Or brings you something they made or has you come see what they did? Or stops themselves from whacking someone the moment they get a bit upset? The milestones are even smaller than that…we build little skills upon bigger skills and every time they get a new one we FREAK THE FREAK OUT! I wish we had a confetti machine and a limitless supply of champagne because I feel like I need it with each step!
- All my preconceived notions about people with exceptionalities have gone out the window. My heart opened, I became bigger, I loved more and judged less. You know the awkward man in the mall who walks up to you and starts talking to you and you’re kind of weirded out and insulted and a bit annoyed and mostly impatient…perhaps he has autism? I bet you he does. I was never interested in working with people with special needs. I didn’t understand them, I didn’t think ill of them, I just wasn’t….interested. Things have changed…wow.
- I am an expert! I’m an expert on Silas’ autism. I have a wealth of new knowledge, I’m an encyclopedia of Silas’ autism. And autism in general…try me. You really have to decide to become an expert. I’ve seen all kinds of parents, some who have teenage kids with autism and still don’t know the resources around here or even what the word “sensory” means. I’m not that parent, it’s fun to know, it’s nice to feel well educated in a subject and it sure comes in handy!!
- The snuggles. I know this isn’t the case for some people with autism, they don’t like being touched. But our Silas LOVES snuggling, he almost OVER snuggles. Snuggle snuggle snuggle, love love love, kiss kiss kiss.
There’s so much more, you can’t really understand the full beauty of parenting someone with autism unless you do it yourself. Yes, it’s hard times a million but if you can’t take the bad with the good, if all you see in that your child is hard, if all you think about the negative, how lost will you be? What will your child’s self esteem be like? Children with autism aren’t unintelligent, they are amazing at knowing what’s going on in your head. They might not understand when you make a negative face but they feel your emotions about them. Sometimes I’ll have a question in my head, should I make chicken or pasta for dinner? Silas will answer me without me asking it verbally. They’re more than meets the eyes, there’s so much glorious beauty bottled up in their little, floppy bodies…I almost cannot stand it!!!
What makes parenting YOUR child amazing?