When my baby was born I was told he was a very healthy baby. He was growing up without any health problems and didn’t seem to have any developmental delays.
What surprised me was that he couldn’t make friends on the playground while he was always friendly to the other children. He would lend his toys, be polite and not cause problems. This happened around the age of 4 and while searching the internet for reasons why the child may not be accepted by his peers, I kept coming across articles about autism.
But my child didn’t have autism, no one had told me so. Of course I didn’t know what autism was. I had probably imagined something else in my mind.
At the same time, there were some changes in the child’s behavior that I could not help but notice. Many cries when he returned from kindergarten and many outbursts without a serious cause.
He could cry heartily because he got soiled with a marker or because his glass didn’t have a blue straw.
Brushing teeth became a very tedious process as it was difficult for him to touch his teeth with the toothbrush. Something was bothering him. They were not the whims of a ‘spoiled’ child. The child suffered.
He no longer wanted me to hug and kiss him. I had to accept that kisses and hugs hurt him.
My until then ‘normal’ child was becoming someone else. He repeated movements that he was not used to until then.
While searching the internet I discovered Asperger’s Syndrome. It described my child so much.
The visit to a specialist confirmed the ‘diagnosis’ that I had also suspected. As they explained to us the spectrum of autism is a big ball that other people touch gently and others are deeper inside.
I cried for months every night in my child’s bed. It was a mourning. I don’t know if it is the same to learn about a disability of your child at their birth. A part of my child was lost, I was mourning for myself that I no longer heard ‘I love you’, but more for the child himself because he lost a part of himself and I didn’t know if it was something I should have done to prevent it or if I could help him in the future.
I kept reading anything that would give me more information about autism and asperger’s syndrome. I mostly read and still read the experiences of parents or adults with autism because they can really explain what it is like to see through their eyes.
Certainly, specialists such as a child psychiatrist, child psychologist, occupational therapist or speech therapist will help your child, but it may take a lot of searching and you should not trust the first professional you will meet if you don’t like something.
A parent whose child has been diagnosed with a mental, intellectual or physical disability will always live with stress about their child’s present and future. In a world so harsh how can my child live without me when I can no longer stand by him?
I hope people soon learn to accept diversity because you never know when something can knock on your door. Unfortunately teachers don’t have the proper education and this can work negatively as a student won’t get what they are entitled to. There is the fear of stigma and not unjustly since parents face the racism of other parents, ignorance and contempt. This is due to lack of education and training.
Never stop fighting for your child. Follow your instinct and believe in your child.
I wouldn’t change my child for anything in the world. I was in pain many times as other children might have kicked him out, other mothers have ignored him because they found strange how he spoke to them or they underestimated his abilities. I’m sorry I didn’t support him as I owed. I didn’t know either. I learn with him.
Thanks to my child I became a better person. I learned to be patient, to love someone more than myself and to admire a little man who in my eyes is huge for what he has accomplished.
My child is the most wonderful creature in the world!
This article was first published on beautyandthemist.com