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Monday, April 26, 2010

Tania's story

I have a son with autism. He is 4 years old.

He loves laughing, climbing and watching stuff fall. He loves Elmo, Wiggles and the Fairies. He loves his sister, his Mum, his Dad and his Pop. He loves traffic signs.

He is really good at recognising letters, shapes, directions, numbers and colours. He is pretty handy with computers.

He struggles to communicate and to relate to his peers. He struggles to understand how hard he is touching something. He struggles to stay quiet.

Sometimes I , as a parent, find it hard when he wants to be cuddled but he cannot stop his body hitting and kicking, especially when it is the middle of the night. I sometimes find it hard when people think he is being naughty when he is actually on his very best behaviour, especially when he has worked so hard to learn the new behaviour. Sometimes I find it hard to keep my patience with others who judge our family when they don't have all the facts and when people treat you like a remedial parent because I have a child with a disability. But most of all, I find it hard when he is stimming* and I cannot work out what he needs to feel calm.

But then I think about the special moments, like when he "tells" one of his jokes and giggles uncontrollably, or he almost interacts with another neurotypical child or when, with his limited vocabulary, says something that makes it clear to me that he understands more than we know.

My life is forever richer because of my little boy. He can light up the world with his smile. He brings joy to all that take the time get to know him. He will have a brilliant life.

* "Stimming" is short for self-stimulatory behaviour - read more here.

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BarbaraKarena April 27, 2010 at 11:08 PM  

thanks for sharing your experience about your beautiful son Tania. As a parent of a 'normal' (hate that word) child, I hope she will grow up being surrounded by all kinds of kids who are 'different' to her, so she will learn how amazing people are, even if they don't behave in the same way as her. I hope like you, more of us can show empathy and take the time to look beyond conditions such as autism and see the person for who they are. It is terrible that other people (adults) can be insensitive to you and your son and not try and take the time to understand. Your son is lucky to have such a loving mum.... :)

Anonymous,  May 6, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

Thank you Barb...we all do the best we can with what we know how to do.

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