Being a mom of two autistic children can have its challenges as well as its rewards. Today I am not here to talk about the challenges I am here to talk about the wonderful rewards of having a child of autism.
First a little history, my 14 year old was diagnosed with aspergerвЂ™s syndrome in the fall of 2006 after many years of teachers and doctors assuming he was ADHD. AspergerвЂ™s Syndrome is the higher functioning aspect of autism.В With aspergerвЂ™s syndrome the child is faced with many social issues, they do not read body language like you and I do.В Children who have aspergerвЂ™s tend to read all the social clues we come to do by instinct the wrong way and not know the right way to respond.В My youngest son who is 6 years old was diagnosed with autism in the fall of 2008. Both of these areas of autism come with learning disability challenges as well.
But I digress, I am not here today to tell you all about autism or explain more about it, you can find that type of research online.В No I am here today to tell you about the wonderful things my children have taught me, which I would have otherwise missed out on.
When my oldest was in kindergarten we were running late for school, he had one of those mornings where he didnвЂ™t want to go to school, didnвЂ™t want to get out of bed that ended up turning into a huge battle to even get him to get dressed for the day. Mothers of autistic children will know that this is not the normal battle a mom has with a child who does not want to go to school, a battle that would chill even the most skilled veteran. Well we missed the bus and at that time we didnвЂ™t have a second car so I had to call my mother in law to take us to school.В I was rushing him from the parking lot into the school when all of a sudden he grabbed my hand and told me to stop.В I of course was upset and frazzled because we were already late for school, but he insisted that we stop to look at something he had found on the ground near the trees by the school building. He grabbed my hand and pulled me down till my face was near his face then he lightly grabbed my chin and directed it to the caterpillar he saw on the ground near a tree.В вЂњLook,вЂќ he said вЂњOne day that ugly bug will become a beautiful butterfly and will be able to fly. One day I will fly too.вЂќВ Overcome with emotions I grabbed my son and hugged him. At that instant I realized that while others think of my son as вЂњan ugly bugвЂќ he is actually a butterfly in the making, getting ready to grow his wings and fly off to do whatever it is he wants to do. They are dreamers, they are lovers and they enjoy and take in all the wonders of the world that are around us each and every day.В If only we would stop and look at the world the way they do, we would realize what a wonderful place this world really is and how much potential we all have.
There are many more stories of love that my children have taught me that far out way all the daily challenges of raising an autistic child.В My youngest love for me, while some days the demands can be hard to deal with, the constant attention he demands from me, no space to breathe for myself still on those days that I am feeling overwhelmed from the demand on me he will grab my face kiss it and tell me he loves me.В Their hugs right at that moment I need that little bit of a reminder that I am loved, their kisses, and their joy in seeing things that we normally miss.В All of these things are a reminder that just because they are вЂњdifferentвЂќ their differences are what make this world a new and joyous place on earth.В So instead of focusing on the daily challenges, mishaps and struggles focus instead on the wonderful things your child can teach you.В This message can be for any parent, not just parents of special needs children they are our future no matter what вЂњchallengesвЂќ they face.В They are a gift to us to help remind us of all the wonders that are in this world for us to enjoy.
-Rebbekah Lynn White