When you’re at that I’m ok place, we’re doing ok, I have this autism parenting thing as good as I’m getting it right now.
Lately you’ve thrown nits at us, you’ve thrown no sleep at us ( again!) you’ve thrown meltdowns, lost teeth,you’ve also thrown new words, high fives and plenty of progress.
Autism has brought us friendships, nights out, getting to know new people and most importantly it’s brought us laughs and memories.
Autism also brings me those knockdown moments I’m calling them. They come when you least expect them. You’re in your we’re doing ok place. When Z first started at Sen school I’d be gutted passing the school he was signed up to, to see his ‘classmates’ run around with one another, form friendships, see photos online of trips, concerts and parties. These pictures of groups of children with the missing child, the child that never made it, the child who still has to be on file incase he’s ever mainstreamed and that’s the school I still choose. The friendships the parents make all laughing drinking coffee there I should stand not at an empty gate. But I got over it like I say I made new friends. Friends that get us. Get our difficulties and accept us, accept the sleep deprived zombie looking Mam that’s begging for coffee! We’re not the strange ones! ( ok maybe we’re still the strange ones!)
But when you see these it does stop you in your tracks, it reminds you that you’ve really not got this! You may have it today but tomorrow is a different day. You are not the same as everyone else, you are reminded of how behind Z is in ways, you are reminded that he’s not part of any social group, you are reminded that he is different and the life you had planned out is completely different. Your child isn’t just on the need help table, it’s at the need help school. You are reminded that you are constantly tired, mentally and physically!
It also reminds you of how far you’ve came, how much progress one small child has achieved, how hard it is each and everyday yet everyday that small child struggles there’s always that toothless grin, a hug and a high five! You are reminded that every night there’s no sleep he’s learning something what I don’t know! But he’s learning how many other 5 year olds are learning things at 4am?!
That need help school is one I never want Z to leave, cross his name off the list he’s not leaving! He has way more amazing opportunities than those of the children in his should have been class, they are working at 5, they have exams at 7 they don’t get to learn through play, to go swimming every week sometimes twice a week, access sensory rooms, have fun throughout school. Z does! He’s not in struggling in a class of 30 he’s thriving in a class of 11 with teachers who love him like their own.
I’m guessing those knockdown moments will always come, they’ll come when kids his age make their communion, finish primary, head to town alone for the first time, leave school and find a partner and settle down.
Of course Z may achieve 50% of those who knows, you still mentally prepare yourself for the knockdowns that can hit at any time and always when you least expect them