Let’s be honest: This is hard, this autism business. It’s hard on us. It’s hard on our kids. Those of us who blog have an outlet, a source for venting, and a type of therapy. But we don’t just talk about the hard stuff – trying to get through the day while worrying about the future. We’ve also been known to mention how rewarding it is to have a child with autism, how fulfilling. There is no doubt that our autistic children have enriched our lives.
And so, with that in mind, I give you my 7 Positive Things about Autism:
- 1) As special needs parents, we are the most attentive parents around. And that’s a very positive thing. I do believe that if my son were not autistic, I would still be an attentive parent. Of course I would. But the fact is that because he is autistic, I go above and beyond the norm of parenting. It’s harder, and it takes a lot out of us, which would seem like a negative thing. But I’m proud of what we do, the example that we set. I think it’s very positive.
- 2) We learn not to take anything for granted. Whether it’s talking, showing empathy, or being able to eat at a restaurant without screaming or writhing on the floor in sensory overload, we notice and appreciate every small step. Because it’s not so small for our kids.
- 3) Our ASD kids are unique. They view the world differently, and if we can just be privy to a small part of that, we are indeed blessed.
- 4) Nigel’s need for routine helps to keep me more organized. If I already know that we have pizza on Mondays and Fridays, then I don’t have to think about it. Dinner’s already planned two days out of the week. One less thing to deal with.
- 5) Autism teaches siblings, relatives, and anyone in contact with our kids – even ourselves! – to be more understanding, patient, and more accepting of people who are different. And that’s a very good way to be in this world.
- 6) As a writer, I get some great material because of autism! Whether funny or emotional, I always have entertaining or intriguing topics to discuss.
- 7) There is so much to enjoy about our children’s personalities, whether they are verbal or not. My son has a very direct nature, makes interesting echolalic associations and non-verbal mannerisms (even though he is verbal), and is very opinionated. He’s also got some great ideas forming in that ND brain of his. Some ideas are serious, some funny. And for all the difficulties he experiences (and I with him), I can’t imagine him any other way. Believe me, I’ve tried – it’s a natural thing for parents to do, especially on the hard days. But I think what gets us through are all the little quirky wonderful things that further endear us to the children we love.
Please add to the list – what, in your experience, is positive about autism?