Monday, October 6, 2014

Letting Go

As a parent, acceptance of your child's limitations is a difficult journey.  Like so many of our kids, I feel like I make progress, and then regress again into a little ball rolling on the floor.

I see so many parents at different stages of their own journeys.  Some seem to make it quickly to a good place (or are very good at pretending), whereas others never seem to get there.  As my kids exit the early intervention stage of their lives and their trajectories become clear, I am getting to a better place.

How am I getting there?  I'll share - but keep in mind this is what works for me.  It doesn't mean squat for other parents.

I've realized this a long while - but it is a starting point so worth reiterating.  No amount of therapy, no diet, nothing I can do will remove the autism from my kids.  It is part of who they are, and though I'd certainly give them the cure pill, it's not gonna happen barring a miracle in our lifetimes.

This is who they are.  So instead of fighting their interests, I try to use them until I can't stand it anymore.  I can't fight them on this; they are going to win.  All I can do is try to introduce new things, but recognize the obsessions will always be.

This is who they are.  I can teach and teach, try a million ways to get them to learn a new skill.  But some things they will never be able to learn... and sometimes they are just not ready.  So we press on.

This is who they are.  This includes self-stimulatory behaviour... I can either watch them or join in.  If you can't beat them, join them.

This is who they are.  A will never live independently, so we do our best to prepare her as much as we can, but now recognizing it's not a race and there is no time limit.  The pressure is off somewhat - what we do has to work for the family as a unit.  T is a wildcard but we are planning on him always needing some financial support, as his language delay is not closing and employment is tough for those on the spectrum.

This is who they are.  I am starting to love them as they are.  I suppose that's letting go.  I am sure I will regress tomorrow, but it is enough for today.