Saturday, May 4, 2013

Where to Start?

I guess the starting point is here.  I have finally decided to blog about our Spectrum journey.  I see a need for change and I cannot think of how to start except here. 

The link above is to my post on my work blog, when I first heard of our son's Asperger's diagnosis from his paediatrician.  When I read back now, I read in shock and embarrassment of how I felt then.  It was probably a natural reaction - well it was a natural reaction, as I often see he same reaction in other parents.  What I find distressing though, is that many parents to do not progress past this initial attitude and reaction.

I am a mother of 4 amazing children.   I know we all think our kids are amazing, but I feel truly blessed to share my lives with these four people.  They all make me proud every single day, they make me smile, they make me feel blessed.  My youngest has Asperger's Sydrome (AS) as does my husband.  

AS, which once brought tears to our lives, now brings joy, friendship, support, understanding and tolerance.  It makes us want to be better people and to make the world a better place.  

Life certainly has it challenges.  Life is not always rosy, but that is life, real life.  We now homeschool our son, at first reluctantly after accepting that the education system in its current form will never be accommodating enough for our boy to really thrive and reach his full potential, but now with great joy. Home schooling has swept me off my feet, and had I known, not only the true joy of spending every day with my son, but the joy of watching his beautiful smiling face, and true happiness as he thrives both socially and academically, I would have done it much earlier.

Our son is 8.  He is happy.  He is happy he has Aspergers, he fully embraces it.  He doesn't want to be like everyone else.  He loves the uniqueness of his being.  He is blessed with some lovely friends on the Spectrum who fully get him and understand him, and he also has some non-Spectrum friends who love him for who he is too.  Unlike my original post talking about changing him to fit in and pretending to be like everyone else, we embrace his uniqueness.  We do not take him to endless therapy, we let him be a child.  I did start with the therapy, it is what I was told to do, but the day my 7 year old came to me and said, "Why do you send me to these things Mummy?  Why are you trying to change me?  I like me, just the way I am",  was the day I vowed never to change a single beautiful thing about him.  

The so called professionals have it all wrong in my opinion.  My pead told us, take him to therapy, within 6 months no one will know he is on the Spectrum, he will act like everyone else.  I know this is a delayed reaction (almost 2 years) but I feel like marching into his office and setting him straight.  I want to tell him he is wrong and to stop advising confused parents to do this.   Sorry but I do!  How dare he think the best thing for my child is to pretend to be someone else!  

I am doubly blessed.  My husband also has Aspergers.  He can give me insight into my son's mind, he can help me understand him.  I would never presume to know what is best for my child.  I would never think it is ok for me to make a decision for someone on the Spectrum when it is something so foreign to me.  Our son and my husband help me to understand and they lead the way.  I am still shocked by how many non-Spectrum (NT) parents think they know what is best for their child.  This is often therapies to train their child be to NT and taking advice from so called professionals that learn through text books but don't live this life.  

The sooner we all come to accept every single person on this planet for who they are, and love them for being individual, the sooner the world will become a better place for us all. Sure my son will be paving the way for future generations, he is going to be doing the hard yards, but someone has to.  He is going to grow up being proud of who he is.  I know too many adults on the Spectrum who tell me how they spent so much energy fitting in and being someone else, that they have never really reached their true potential in life.

My son is going to reach his full potential.  School caused anxiety, so we removed the source, we do what we can to provide an environment to nurture him emotionally and academically.  He is self assured, he is happy and he has the most brilliant mind I have come across.  To him reading is like breathing, you cannot live without it.  He retains almost every single piece of information and can readily gain access to it it that full overflowing mind of his.  He never ceases to amaze me.  

I am truly confident that one day our boy will achieve great things.  He will be an inspiration to other children on the Spectrum and he will be amazing and happy.  He is blessed with the confidence and the ability to live outside the box, and without confines comes greatness.  That greatness may be simply that he is happy.  That is what we all want in life. 

I want to finish my first post by sharing something I found on Karla's ASD Page today.  I think it is one of the single most important things I have read as a parent to a child on the Spectrum. 

Karla's ASD Page
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