The world dropped on me the first time I knew about his case. And if I faced that time alone, I might end up losing my mind and suffer from depression. I thought of it as a karma, if not a curse. Never did I think that my child with autism would teach me a lot of lessons I need to be a better version of myself. Although he speaks in fragment, he teaches me to:
Because his system has an auto-filter and auto-delete for negative words, I’ve learned to say “chocolates can make your tummy ache” instead of a plain “don’t eat them.”
He has a limited memory bank for things he has little or no interest of. So if I had to ask him “how many times do I have to tell you…?”, he wouldn’t have a clue. Unless I tell him about cars or local newscasters or teach him how to spell, I’ve got to guard my heart.
He is full of energy. He chases dogs and lovely girls. And when I act lamely, I will be left behind.
Walk the Talk
“Be a good boy” doesn’t make sense to him. If I want him to be generous, I’ve got to show him how. I’ve got to let him see me handing a burger over to a random kid in the street.
Think Outside the Box
When he wants something, nothing will get in the way. He must get it and he must get it at once. So when he wants to watch his favorite Oggy and The Cockroaches on Cartoon Network, he must – even without a cable TV. A blank paper and some crayons will do the trick. Lend him your mobile phone and he will flick it before the paper TV glued to the wall.
He fights for what he wants. He cries for it, rolls over for it, or even begs for it. He just can’t take no for an answer. He just won’t give up on the first, second, or fifth, or ninth or nth try. He won’t give up until I will.
He finds it hard to express how he feels, what he wants and what he doesn’t. So whenever he is making faces, it’s for me to figure out whether he is irritated or it is just poop time.
A meltdown affects him more than it drives me crazy. And if I won’t chill and breathe, I would melt down too.
Indeed, he is the best mentor I ever have. I couldn’t be prouder.