I saw a survey on Twitter about how challenging is it to raise an autistic child. Obviously, I did NOT participate. In fact, I saw red.
NEWS FLASH, folks: PARENTHOOD IS CHALLENGING!
If it ain’t then you are doing it wrong. You are probably stifling your child with your expectations, rules and dreams. Whether they are neurotypical or neurodivergent it matters little.
In fact, I have left parent ‘support’ groups because it is nothing but a place for people to ^itch, complain and moan about how tough they have it. How hard their life is. Let me tell you somethings…
- You could not handle one hour in your child’s body and mind. Constantly bombarded with sensations that are off the charts, not being given the time to process information or communicate your needs.
- You want/need respite? Your child NEVER gets a break from her life with #autism. Not even in sleep which is so hard coming.
- You just want him to act ‘normal’. So he will be accepted, not get bullied. No, your real concern is what people think about you as a parent.
How dare you! What gives you the right to say something offensive like that?
Six children…two special needs…over thirty years of parenting. That’s what!
Whether it is mild dyslexia, weight issues, being so smart that school bores you, learning difficulties, self-esteem, abandonment, the ‘wrong’ crowd, or a plethora of other things…every child comes with his or her own unique challenges. Things that they must overcome. Things that it is your responsibility to help them accept.
Is autism tough? Maybe, but being totally insensitive here…would you rather be facing the life-or-death challenge of cancer?
What’s more…when you pull your head out your a$$ and get to know the amazing and wonderful little person that has been entrusted to you, you may just discover that the way she sees the world is beautiful, mind-blowing, and freeing.
PanKwake has Pathological Demand Avoidance…one of the most behaviorally challenging forms of autism (supposedly). When she was little, she could have six or more violent meltdowns per day. I tried loads of different things. None of them worked…except…
LISTENING TO MY CHILD!
RESPECTING HER NEEDS!
When I gave up trying to fit my square peg in this world’s round hole, everything changed. We found happiness. We made progress. We thrived.
Here are some further news flashes for you, folks…
- There is NO cure for autism. As PanKwake says…you can’t cure perfection.
- The only ‘treatment’ or therapy that you need is…UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
- And you don’t need to ‘push’ them either, once your child feels supported, secure, and accepted they WANT to achieve. Dr Ross Greene says is best…’children do well WHEN they can.’
Your job is to do your best to make sure they can!
Is our challenges less than yours? Easier? Has PanKwake’s autism gone into ‘remission’?
No, while my life may seem ‘charmed’, we still have ‘challenges’. Tomorrow is one of them. We are taking PanKwake to ANOTHER amusement park. This time with the home ed group. But it is not the excitement of the rides and animals that concern me.
It is TRAVEL.
Getting there and back. You see whether it be train, bus, car or boat (probably plane too but won’t know that for a few months) the kid who can ride the fastest, scariest, most dangerous ride at the park…gets motion sickness with every day modes of transport. As a result we have been sticking close to home for the past year.
But PanKwake has a dream…and she and I have a bet….
If she sleeps in her own bed…the mattress that SHE picked out by the way…then I will take her to DisneyLand Paris.
Her dreams…her goals…but as I said…my job is to enable her to achieve them. We have already begun to plan how. It is an hour on train from here to Cardiff. Then an hour and fifteen minutes by plane to Paris. We are trying to figure out already. Plan ahead to make it as easy as possible.
Because that is MY job as a Mom…whether my child is neurotypical or neurodivergent.
So yes, I guess you could call it challenging…but that word has gotten a dirty, nasty taste for me. I prefer…
And life on the beautiful, wondrous, and amazing rainbow spectrum of neurodiversity is nothing if not…EXCITING! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Or PanKwake any different either.