Living with autistic children makes you look at the world differently and whilst some things are difficult to navigate, others brighten my day! Here's some of my top 5 happy autism moments with my children...
Mum 'Please can you put this towel in the downstairs toilet?'
Child 'okay' He takes towel and goes downstairs
Expectation: towel to be somewhere in the bathroom, ideally hanging on towel rail
Reality: Towel down the toilet, exactly as requested
2. A different outlook
Mum 'come on we can't just stop we'll be late'
Child 'no, look'
My child (in the busyness and sea of everyday life) found the tiniest baby snail on the pavement. He was fascinated by it. I was fascinated by how he could spot something so small, so easily. He looks and processes the world differently.
3. No social constraints
Consultant 'what would you say if I told you it was raining cats and dogs outside'
Child 'I'd say you're stupid because its clearly not. Cats and dogs are not rain'
My child is straight to the point; he is not worried about social graces, so you'll get an honest answer. It may come across as rude but that is not his intention. If you ask, he'll tell you. At times I'd love this freedom, to not worry about what others think.
4. Deep thoughts and feelings
My child had a poem published about an eagle. His words describing the eagle soaring free were profound. I'm amazed at how he can think and feel so deeply. People may think that people with autism don't empathise but whilst they may have difficulty seeing something from your point of view, from my experience they feel greatly and feel deeply. He may have difficulty expressing himself but when he writes, this part of him comes alive. I would love for him to become a writer but at the moment he's a teenager, who has decided he hates doing English. I'm praying this will change.
Now that he's older, he refers to us as 'Normies'. I guess being labelled autistic or now the new phrasing 'with autism' he's decided to give us (neuro typicals) a label in return. I'm proud that he doesn't see his autism as a failing. He believes autistic people are normal and we're the different ones. He was laughing at a joke, I completely didn't understand but he re-assured me it was just because I was a Normie. I love that he has autistic friends that get him and they have humour they can all share in together. He also has a very sharp, witty sense of humour for us 'normies' too.
I'm glad I get to see into this world. I'm glad I have children that make me stop and think and look. Its hard work trying to get square pegs to fit into round holes but days and moments when we're not fighting this system, there is fun and there is joy. Its such a celebration when they hit milestones others have taken for granted. I maybe tired but I am a better person because of them.
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