By Kim Stagliano
On Saturday, I was at my Okinawan weapons class when a student, another adult, said to me, "You know what? There is a video channel devoted to complaining about you!" He was shocked. I laughed. He was kind of shocked that I laughed. But you aren't, are you?
We all know the sites and commenters and bloggers who love to claim that we don't love our kids. We don't even like our kids. We are bad, bad, bad parents because we want to "change" our kids. Can I have a "get real!"?
Every parent I know with a child who is a toddler or in his or her late teens or an adult works non-stop to make life better, safer, healthier and dare I say it, more "normal." Doesn't matter what they think in terms of causation, vaccination, education; autism parents make James Brown look like a slacker.
Later on Saturday, Bella, my youngest, brought me her shoe. She sat down and expected me to put it on her foot and tie it. I did not. (Oh dear, maybe I am a bad mother after all!) No indeed. I sat in front of her, dead silent. No expression on my face. I waited. Tick tock tick tock. In about 45 seconds she bent down and put the shoe on her own foot. Step 1 accomplished. I kept quiet. Stared at her. Another 45 seconds passed and then she said, "Puh." Doesn't sound like much does it? But I knew that "puh" is the last sound in the word help. Bella was asking me for help.
Yesterday, she came to me again with her shoe. Here, I'll show you what happened. (Sorry, I never remember to turn my iPhone sideways.)
More communication! She brought me her GoTalk and told me what she needed. Imagine a world where you have to work so hard to tell someone something so basic. Frustrating, yes? This is the world my girls live in every day. This is autism in our home. Perhaps it's similar in your home.
Do I want to change life for my kids?
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her new novel, House of Cards; A Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book. Her newest book, co-written by Tony Lyons, 101 Tip For Parents of Girls with Autism is available now.