As a parent of an autistic child, I have fears hence the title of this article. I fear for his future when his father or I am not around. Last night I was having a deep conversation with my husband and we both kind of avoided talking about our fears for a very long time.
I feel that this is something of a sore subject for both of us. We are still pretty new to understanding autism. We are still raw when it comes to our child and how he is behaving.
I will go ahead and say it – Why was my child born this way? When I have too much time on my hands, I begin to think. My thoughts go down a dark and scary road. I begin to wonder what it is that I have done wrong. I begin to question myself and the choices I’ve made in the past.
My husband and I finally spoke after 8 years about our child. It’s difficult as parents to voice what we are feeling because we are afraid of what the outcomes will be. What will happen to him when we aren’t alive any longer? How will he make it on his own? Will he be understood? Can he voice his concerns to others? Will others have patience with him in this insanely inpatient and rapid paced world?
These are just some of the millions of questions running thought my mind. As his parents are we doing everything we can to ready him and let him run loose into the world. I know he is only 8 years old now and these questions might seem like we are a bit insane to think this way.
Raising a child of the spectrum wasn’t something we were prepared for. I don’t think any parents prepare themselves for this. I know like us there are thousands of parents who are confused and don’t understand their child.
For the first 5 years of his life, we didn’t know how to communicate with our son. He would act out because he couldn’t express his thoughts and feelings. We would get frustrated because we thought our child was intentionally acting out and misbehaving. We were at our whits end. Some days – which were rare days – he would be mellow and we were happy on those rare days. Those rare days we didn’t have an incident involving him were beautiful but short lived.
Other days – which was most days – we were always on our toes. Our hearts were always a second away from popping out of our chests. Our child wasn’t aware of dangerous situations. He wasn’t aware that by running off into the street was putting himself in serious danger. He thought it was funny that his parents are chasing him and playing with him. This was just one incident.
Everyday it was something thrilling and heart stopping. I remember one day I was in the kitchen cooking and he was just a 3 year old toddler at that time. He was able to walk and climb. He was in our room and he climbed on the dresser drawers. He loved to climb anything and everything. He wasn’t afraid. He was standing on the lowest drawer and began rocking the dresser.
The dresser gave way and fell forward. I heard this loud crash – BOOM! My heart jumped into another galaxy. I ran into the bedroom and my eyes were seeing the dresser tipped over and it was at a 45 degree angle. The footboard from our bed was holding the dresser up. My brain wasn’t registering what I was witnessing.
My overshot and over active imagination did a number on my sanity and fragile heart! I was expecting my beautiful baby boy crushed under this heavy piece of wooden furniture. I was hyperventilating at this point. But…
Here comes my 3 year old baby boy crawling out from between the tilted dresser and footboard – unscathed. No fear, care or awareness in the world of the monumental danger he was in. He just calmly crawled out and walked over to where his toy cars were. He just sat down and began to play with them by lining up the toy cars.
I’m still processing the heart stopping sight before my eyes! If you don’t believe in a higher power then this would make you believe that God was with him. Protecting my innocent child and Angels were watching over him! It could have been such a disaster that I couldn’t begin to imagine. It was every parents worst nightmare when it comes to their toddlers.
Now our child is 8 years old – we have gone to parent trainings and we have been educated about our child. He isn’t a typical 8 year old. He is nuro-typical. We never even knew what this was before my child. Our eldest child was typical.
It’s not a disease so don’t freak out! We didn’t know either and we were stunned speechless as well. Our child within minutes was a special needs child. It was explained to us that our sons ability to learn and process everything was different.
There were different ways – by using different tools and techniques in which we could help him and communicate with him. It was going to take some dedication at home and also the dedication of individuals at his school to help nurture and grow him.
We enrolled into a program through the school district which helped children like our son. There were speech pathologists, behavioral specialists, autism specialists and many other individuals who committed each day into helping our child.
I will be forever grateful to these individuals. I cannot even begin to explain how this mothers heart aches in gratitude.
Since he turned 5 years old we had him start pre-kindergarten with these services. Now he’s 8 years old and get behavioral help. We have seen a tremendous improvement in him but he still have so much to understand. He is more social but he still has many lacking’s. He doesn’t like being the center of attention because he feels he’s not doing something right or he would get reprimanded.
We are trying to make him understand that he is such a brilliant bright little boy with so much knowledge. People should hear his voice and the workings of his beautiful mind. Bringing him out of this wall he has built around him will take some time.
We know that it’s normal to feel afraid especially when it comes to our children. We want what is best for them. We work day and night to make their lives beautiful. We guide them to become successful individuals. There is always a fear in our heart when it comes to our child’s future.
Keep in mind that I am not a doctor and I cannot give you any advice on how to do anything for your child. Please consult your doctor or an expert. All the opinions expressed in this particular article are my own experiences with my own child.
I will be express everything we are continuing to face with him. Each child is different and each childs diagnosis is different. So don’t ever take one childs outcomes – their progression or regressions on the spectrum and compare it to your own child.