Tuesday, July 27, 2010

autism parenting - the positives 1

Being a parent of autistic children means a daily confrontation with yourself.

Some see that as negative, as a burden.
Especially those people who think self reflection is unpleasant.

I consider it a real challenge.
A positive day to day experience that enabled and enables me to grow. Not only as a parent, but also as a human being.

Ofcourse I've thought about parenting before I even got pregnant.
I had a serious look at myself to see if I would like to be a parent, if I could carry the responsibilities of being a parent, if I would enjoy not only the babystages, but also the other developmental stages of human beings, etc etc.

The answer was "yes".

And then we were told we never would be parents.

The games fate plays are countless.

But against all odds I became pregnant, more conscious of the miracle I ever would have been.

It made me observe my child, enjoy each moment, each movement, and because of that the realisation that something was the matter, that my son showed autistic traits, entered my thoughts very soon.

That was in a time that autism spectrum syndrome didn't excist.

I mentioned it the first time when he was a few months old.

First the doctor of the babycheck thought our son was deaf, but he heard the sounds of the radio. He was tested nevertheless, because the doctor told me she had more experience than I had.
I was the one who said he had autism, many, many years later she agreed I had been right.

After checking him for deafness, she came with all sorts of other possible causes, like not enough sleep, allergies, and everything else in the books.
But she never seriously considered what I told her, because she just didn't know anything about autism.

During the first years I trusted my intuition.
So I learned him to look at me when I was speaking to him.
Like with deaf children I touched his chin to get attention.

I learned to stage communication, cut non verbal behaviour into small parts to teach my son how to show proper non verbal behaviour.
And I did the same with verbal behaviour, play and everything else..

With the gain of each small step I was happy.
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