March 11, 2010

The Highs and Lows

I call them "autism days"- those days that are difficult for Will and therefore difficult for me. On those days, it seems like the autism takes over my little guy. I've found there is a cycle, usually lots of good days and then a few autism days before the good ones return.

Our autism days typically come when:

  • it's the first day of anything new, such as starting t-ball or a new classroom
  • he didn't get enough sleep the night before
  • we're going to the doctor, especially if they have to look in his ears
  • it's haircut day
  • the seasons are changing, which means he has to change from short to long sleeve or pants to shorts or wear new shoes
  • we're at a chaotic birthday party
  • we've planned too many things in one day or over-stimulating activities (he once spent the entire first half of the circus with his eyes covered)
  • other kids are mean
  • he's sick and has to take medicine
  • he has to learn something new, like tying his shoes or riding his bike
THANKFULLY, those days are fewer and fewer. Whereas they used to be about every day, as he gets older he is learning to transition easier and try new things. As a parent, I love to experience his best days, such as when:
  • he says, "I can do it!"
  • he gives and receives affection, especially when he says, "I love you!" without prompting
  • he enjoys playing with other kids
  • he is loving and considerate of his younger brothers
  • someone says, "I would have never known!" (about his diagnosis)
  • he enjoys trying something new or gets excited about an upcoming adventure
  • he finally gets something he's struggled with for a really long time
  • I realize I haven't thought of "the word" in a while (autism)
  • he delights in his own success
As a parent of a child with autism, I have learned to be in the moment- not dwelling on the worries over the future, but thinking of and celebrating the small victories of today. Maybe you're having an "autism day" today. I hope you are encouraged to think of all the little victories today.