I've gotten quite a number of emails from readers and Facebook followers that praise me for being so accepting of my son's autism diagnosis. Asking me how I came to terms with it. How can I be so flip and positive online? Always cracking a joke.
Here's the thing. I've just gotten used to it. He is my only child by choice. I absolutely know no other way of being a mom. This is the only parenting I know. I have realized though I pick my battles. Be it the littlest thing, they wind feeling like winning major award when he is successful. It may not always feel like things are getting easier. I think we as a family are just getting better at handling it and dammit, I will take my victory lap when it's been well earned. Which usually is more like a big glass of wine from a bottle with a screw top while I sit in my pajamas watching the Real Housewives of some city does it even matter I'm just checking out their shoes and handbags while they roll their eyes and screech at each other.
Like here's the latest big thing and I am knocking wood as I type this, he's finally eating. This is a HUGE thing. It did not just happen overnight. I did have to do a dance with this kid more complicated than Paso Doble night on "Dancing with the Stars". We are currently seeing "Magic Speech Therapist" who is trained in feeding and food issues. So before you ask me how I did it, well that's how. Ask around. Google. I can't praise it enough. A big part of it was trust and it took till he was 8 till we were worthy of it. This is my second go around with feeding therapy with this kid. We tried a few years ago. He'd do it for the therapist and then not for me. I backed off. I let him have that round. He wasn't ready and I had to accept that. I love to cook and I had a kid that refused to eat. Eating that, pardon the pun, was hard but worth it in the end. It's still a challenge as we try things out and occasionally have to let some things go that he just does not like. (like my homemade slap your mama it's so good Mac and Cheese) So he just prefers pasta with red sauce. Big deal. I can get veggies into him that way. I accept it.
Independence in the bathroom is finally being shown. From toileting to teeth brushing. Again you new folks to Club Spectrum are all like "Dude how did you do it?" I can only say one thing, TIME. He's 8 and just getting it. So if your kid is 3, well sorry, you got some years ahead. I know that sucks but keep trying and tell your partner to stop by the liquor store on their way home from work. Best advice I can give you is work with your kid's teacher. How are they doing it at school? Replicated it at home. Consistency is your best shot. Notice I said shot? Yep, nothing is 100%. Text your spouse and tell them to spring for the big bottle of wine at the store.
And from the two steps forward one step back department, it's not always sunshine and roses at French Fry Inc. Especially when sleep is concern. Now we just had a nice stretch the kiddo finally PRAISE THE LORD going to sleep in his own bed. HUGE for us. HUGE! I thought we finally had our "Come to Jesus" moment with the kiddo. He was going to sleep in his own room. Yeah, guess where he was last night? Guess who got to sleep with Lighting McQueen and Mater last night? This gal right here. I was pissed. I still am but I will keep trying. Waking up and being confused to where I am, boy I thought those days were long done.
You know how I am always going on about I'd rather be laughing that crying? Well it's because it's true. I have had more breakdown ugly cries over this kid than I care to count and as good as it is sometimes to do this, it really doesn't do anything for him. When I'm happy or at least pretending to be, he's happy. So yeah, I fake it till I make it for his sake. Anxiety feeds anxiety, It's hard to remember that in the heat of a battle, but it's important.
It's also important to order another side of fries. :-)