April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, hence why I'm writing this latest post. I can't help but reflect a bit on Autism Awareness Days past though every April. You see, the word autism first came into our lives March 22nd 2006. Just in time for Autism Awareness Month. I find that every year that goes by, I'm in a completely different place about it.
Those first few years I raged against autism. I wanted to fix it. That was my first gut instinct. This is something where we will do set a plan of attack to battle back autism. Guess what? There was really nothing to fight or fix except my own views on it. I could ignore it. I could be angry at it. No matter what, it didn't really solve anything. I was in no better place other than being extra spent on it. I still have days where I wonder why can't I understand it better? Why does it have to be so hard for my kiddo? It's just that Mama Bear instinct to want to fix everything for your kid so you don't have to see them struggle or suffer. Took a while for me to see that some of the stuff I was doing to fix autism was only adding struggle to it.
I dance a lot with the idea of managing autism, which if you have a kid, any kid, you know is next to impossible. You can teach good manners and set good examples but it's really a crap shoot if your kid is going to be "manageable". They are kids, not employees. So the idea of managing autism? Yeah um, good luck with that one sport. I am not the boss of autism. Some days it's more the other way around. Autism has decided how the tone of each day will be. From how early it starts till when it allows me to clock out for the night. Even then, autism has me "on call". Although, that autism boss has made me much more organized. I will give it that. No surprises on the schedule and what we say we will do, we do. How I manage my time has completely changed with autism.
I guess you could say I'm finally getting to an acceptance of autism. I accept that it's here and it's not going anywhere. I don't see it as anything to try to fix or needs to go away. This is not to say there are not WTF moments with autism still. I'd be lying if I said that. Hell, I'm pretty sure the kiddo still has WTF with me as his parent. So we have those moments and we shake them off and try again. We are both thinking in our own ways. We express ourselves in our own languages and somehow we got to meet in the middle to a point of understanding. What he wants to express and what I want to share with him. We get there. We accept that it will be a constant dance of trying to get to the middle. As hard as I am working on accepting him and his way, he is doing the same. He has to accept me for my differences too and most days he does. It's not perfect but no relationship is, autism or not.
Good thing we agree on another side of fries though. Some stuff is universal. :-)