One day, my husband was working with Caleb on saying nice things about people. Caleb said what he liked about daddy, mommy (me), and himself; he said that he was smart, a good helper, and autistic. I had always seen autism as something that Caleb has to overcome; I never even stopped to think of it as a good thing.
I love that Caleb embraces his autism. We talk about it all the time, and talk about some feelings he may have and how we can deal with it. For instance, I asked my son what I should do when he has a meltdown. It wasn’t until he was 6-years-old that it dawned on me to simply ask my child how I can help him. Why did it take me so long? Btw, Caleb told me that he wants me to sit down next to him and tell him that I love him. Boom. done. easy. yay!
Caleb sees autism as “a great thing.” He doesn’t want to be neurotypical. When I first learned about Caleb’s autism, I mourned the loss of the son I envisioned having. I quickly moved into “fix it” mode; my husband and I did everything we could to help Caleb “catch up” before he hit 5-years-old. (For some reason, after 5-years-old, the brain isn’t as efficient at learning as it is from newborn to 5. So, getting the right information and seeing the appropriate behavior before 5 is so important). I am glad that I helped him as much as I did. Well, we did. But, I think I like Caleb just the way he is as well.
I think I like his autism. I’m not sure, and I am okay with that. I don’t dislike it. I mean, yes, there are days when I am going to pull out my hair and curl up in the fetal position until help arrives. But most of time, my relationship with Caleb is downright lovely. He is next to me right now. I am double-checking with him on some of the specifics of the post. He knows all about this blog and reads it.
I need to be the mom that Caleb needs, and that is a mom who is a proud autism mom. And I am. Trust me, ask any of my friends and they will let you know that I am super proud, if my jewelry and bumper stickers don’t tell you first. And honestly, I have no idea what I would do with a neurotypical child. I have only one child, Caleb, so parenting a neurotypical child is completely out of my wheelhouse. I love keeping a schedule, I love planning ahead, and I love the stuffing out of my son.
So, yes, we are autism happy.
I hope you are too.