HELP US TO HELP OTHERS
The Best is Yet to Come
Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture grey, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.Allen Klein
Bloggers are a dime a dozen. I feel somewhat narcissistic for even believing people care about “my journey” too. But this is a commitment to myself for accountability and acknowledging the gains achieved in my personal life. Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, right?
I would be lying if I alleged my daily grind was all unicorns and rainbows. There is nothing easy about autism. A bad day (or week) can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being, and most of us are just trying to power through a day of chaotic schedules, meltdowns, and inappropriate behaviors while still attempting to get dinner on the table.
Instead of just going through the motions mechanically everyday, I would like to be more conscious of paying homage to the achievements. And these are typically small victories that others often take for granted, because they are expected in typical child development. However, in my world, trying a new food is a total game-changer. Or that we successfully used crayons to color a picture, rather than rolling them across the kitchen floor.
Take time to celebrate these small victories. Our lives are consumed with goals; IEPS, therapy goals, social-skill goals. Collaboratively, we all work so hard that we would be doing a disservice to ourselves for not recognizing these divine moments.
I remember watching my son pick up a puzzle and begin chucking each piece across the room for the 17th time that day, as I watched feeling succumbed to defeat. But this time he caught my gaze, and engaged with eye contact and a mischievous grin, right before he threw it. If he understood the meaning and gesture, I am certain he would have finished-off with a middle finger too. Just when my patience had been pushed to the brink, that moment erased all frustration. He accomplished social engagement and upped the ante with typical, deviant toddler behavior. Usually, he could care less about my reaction but now he was thriving on it. Go ahead, son, and throw a puzzle piece at my face if that results in joint attention.
Milestones are met quicker than others. Days, months, even years. But progress is the driving force that motivates me to keep on, keeping on. My glass is half full, usually with wine.
Awareness begins with understanding. I would be a fool to assume that everyone is a subject matter expert regarding autism. I certainly wasn’t until knowledge became fundamental to advocate the best care for my son. Here is a starting point.