Autism is a brain development disorder that impairs social interaction and communication, and causes restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old.
With that, you don't really know the effect of Autism until you are close to it. Tonight I went to a Parent Training at Nathan's school. We were privileged to hear from a family with 3 members that are affected by Autism. All in different degrees, but still all in the same category.
When you are a parent of a child or children with autism, you get to the point where you think you understand what is happening and you think that you have come to terms with it, and get an idea of what your life will be like. This is where I was before tonight. I knew that Brandon and Nathan were different and that they weren't going to be like everyone else, but they would get there and they would become successful and happy. But tonight listening to these children who are now grown talking about their experiences of realizing that they were different and their hard times that they had to go through. How they live day to day and how they have come to accept their live. It was heartbreaking.
As a Parent all you want to do is protect your children and make them happy. But you can't always do that. You can't be there to hold their hand all time or to make sure that no one is calling them names. You have to let them feel. You have to let them live their lives, even if they don't function "typically". It is a hard thing to watch your child hurt and not be able to take it away.
Last Sunday Brandon was called a "punk" by some boys in his class. You would think they are just being silly and goofing off. But poor Brandon was heart broken. He was sad that they had called him that. He doesn't know what punk is, but knows that it was said to hurt. Even though we are dealing with six year old, you get to the point where they will start to notice how different someone with Autism is. Just starting at the age of six, my baby is feeling hurt. For something he can't even control! Something he doesn't even understand.
Tonight there was a woman that when finding out that her 3rd son had autism and reading and researching, as we mom's do. She realized that her oldest had autism as well, and two of her other children as well. She has 5 sons, 4 with different spectrum's of autism and 1 with diabetes. But her oldest had gone through hard times, and has felt the pain of being different, and knows that he is different, but doesn't know why. As a mother do you tell you son that he has autism, would this empower him or would this bring him down? This is a problem that we have to face. Brandon doesn't know what autism is. He knows that mommy says it. He knows that he has a shirt or two with the words on it, but does he know what it means....no. When do I tell him? When will he understand.
Tonight I realized that I was making plans. They weren't the plans that I had when my children were first born. They aren't the plans that I have created of what I think they will be with autism. I realized that I don't need to make plans. That I need to live day by day and deal with what comes. So now I have a new plan, even though I don't need to make any, but I plan on doing everything in my power to help my children be happy. If they are happy I will consider my time and effort well spent. I will feel that I have succeeded as a mother.
Knowing that the hurt is going to come, everyone deals with teasing or bullying at least once in their life. Knowing that Brandon and Nathan and even Kimball aren't going to have an easy road ahead of them, I have a small glimpse of what our Heavenly Father felt when he sent us to earth. The anxiety, the worry, the sadness. So I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and letting me come to earth is one of the biggest ways that he has shown that he loves me. It is all apart of the plan of salvation.
So I want to say now to all of the readers out there, thank you for reading this and thank you for not judging me and supporting me. This is my blog where I can ramble about whatever I am feeling or think. Please forgive my grammar and spelling, I hear that it isn't one of my strong points, but thank you for reading. Because by you reading you may get a glimpse of what it is like to have children with autism or any disability.