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Aware

June 12, 2013

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
― Heath L. Buckmaster

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Here we are, on the other side.

But somehow back at the beginning.

Let’s just say, we are not a family that takes kindly to transitions, and we sure have thrown a few of them at my boy over the last month. We’ve moved. He has discharged from all of his therapies. The school year has ended. Any one of these would be a lot – for anyone. But all three? At once? Plus autism? Um, yeah. A LOT.

It hasn’t been easy. It’s been the opposite of easy at times. And at other times it has been downright amazing. He is the same person. The same, bright inquisitive, intense, autistic little boy he has always been. The meltdowns and the pitfalls have been more frequent recently. The anxiety is higher.

But something in him is different. He has these skills. Skills that he worked really really hard at learning. We can talk. He can identify some of what is coming.

We discussed how some of the adult autistics I talk to here prepare themselves for these kinds of transitions. That they still have all those feelings. That they still have meltdowns. But they are gentler with themselves. They advocate for themselves. They make accommodations for themselves. (And I don’t know if I will ever be able to express just how incredibly grateful I am to them for sharing so much insight and being such incredible role models and teachers.) He genuinely likes to hear about them, and while he says he is not yet ready to talk to any of them himself, he wants to listen. He wants to learn more from them.

So you know what he can do now? He can say, “Mom I feel really angry, and I don’t know why.” And then we can identify a coping mechanism. He can play a video game for a few minutes. He can watch an episode of Top Gear (his very favorite show on the BBC – it’s all about cars… Of course…), he can ride his bike. This is huge. He can tell me that the storm is coming before it strikes.

He recognizes bits of himself and his sisters in some of his other autistic friends. He can backpedal and adjust his own play so that they can work together. He observes, notices and enjoys – he never pokes fun. And they, in turn, whether they do it consciously or not, are able to sense his tension and calmly, without judgement and without patronizing him, continue quietly at the task, willing the impending storm to pass. They are better with him than I am at (many) times.

He has coping skills. He can communicate. He has friends – both on and off the spectrum. He is happy. And that, my friends, was the whole point –Is the whole point. Not to cure, fix or change who he is. But to help him be the best, happiest version of himself. And he is. He is amazing.

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Troy and Joyce smiling for the camera. 😉

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2013 4:38 pm

    aw, nice, yes, I wish we did live closer. I think our boys would enjoy each other.

    • June 20, 2013 4:48 pm

      Perhaps we will both be visiting Boston at the same time some day. That would be fun. 😉

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