I remember when my son was little and had to take antibio-tics. He was a fighter, a runner, a hider and finally, a screamer. You would have thought we were trying to pour Draino down his throat! He had ear infections quite often, and in those days, the medicine flowed like water.
I don’t relish those days. As it turned out, his overreactions were due to tactile defensiveness and Asperger’s Syndrome. As I type this and spell check, I see there isn’t even the word Asperger’s on the spell check. Yet, we have lived with this as long as we can remember.
I remember the teachers’ telling us they thought he had ADD. “He talks, nonstop!” We actually thought it was because we had spoken too much to him as a baby. 19 years ago, people didn’t know what made kids who were 2 and a half years old read complete books. I knew it was unusual, but not weird. Then we noticed he liked to talk to adults and not his peers. On play dates, you could find him by himself, upstairs in a back bedroom, reading a book, out loud to himself. I was 34, and nothing to compare this to. Isn’t that what all kids his age did? Don’t you want your child to read early and often?
It was the social behaviors that gave me great pause. I’d have to say the word, “Loud!” before I ran the coffee grinder, or he would cry, inconsolably. I was too busy being happy to have found a solution to his fearful crying to be concerned that his actions were out of the ordinary. And so it goes… as a parent of a child with Autism, you have to constantly be on the look out for problem solving techniques.
Even now, my son is 19. He finished his first year at college, and succeeded.The payoff is, however, he now is feeling the sadness of loosing his closest buddy, his dad. It took a year for the grief to arrive, but it finally has. In a safe place. In his home, where he is loved and cared for and understood. I will be there for him, while he takes his time to mourn. And grow. College will be waiting, and our son will do things in his own time and his own way. Life has a funny way of sending you in a direction you didn’t expect to be heading. I think the skill of learning how to be on the look out for problem solving techniques will be the greatest achievement of my parenting days.I will watch and listen and guide.
Someone once said to me,”raising children is like a bush of roses… they don’t all open at the same time.” So, I will tend my rose bush and wait for the blooms.