As I sit here in the dining room, I am watching my youngest son Kiernan lining up Dragonball Z toys. He is very careful in his endeavor and not one is out of line. While lining up the toys he is humming.
I know many parent's of autistic children who would think this behavior is inappropriate. My question is WHY? Why is his lining up toys and humming inappropriate? Is it any different than someone else doing a jigsaw puzzle? I have observed many people do jigsaw puzzles in my 46 years. Some people separate the pieces before doing the puzzle by color. Some people do the outside of the puzzle first. Some people just go into the box and go to it.....
Which way is the correct way?
Who told parent's of autistic children that certain behaviors are not acceptable in society? Isn't our society full of diverse people? Isn't that what makes a society?
I love when Caitlin buzzes while watching her favorite movie on her DVD player. I love how she still flaps and jumps when she is happy. I think that is what makes Caitlin her unique self.
Sure she gets stared at in the grocery store when she does this behavior, but frankly, who cares?
I love how Deirdre looks when she is about to ask a question and she is not quite sure how you will answer it....I love that Deirdre could care less what brand of jeans you buy her or what haircut is the latest style. I love that Deirdre is obsessed with the Beatles so much, that she thinks she discovered them.
I love how Erin believes she will be the next American Idol. I love how she sings at the top of her lungs. I adore how sweet she is with her friends. I still think it is amazing how she can calm herself by rubbing a soft piece of fabric or wrapping herself in a blanket.
I love how Meaghan can be as sassy as a 15 year old and still have the innocence of a 9 year old. I love how people flock around Meaghan and think she is the coolest person alive...which she is by the way.
I love how little Patrick makes his wrestling toys wrestle in a ring like the professionals. I love how he knows every word to every Country song. How he can memorize the top 20 country music countdown every week.
I love how Kiernan bounces on his big red ball and giggles in glee. I love how Kiernan picks through his lucky charms and puts them all in piles of color. I love how Kiernan gets hugs from all the little girls at school and looks at them so oddly.
Kiernan has alot of the behaviors at the age of 5 that Caitlin had at the same age. Now, at 16, Caitlin's behaviors have calmed down or stopped. She does still flap and buzz when she needs to. This is okay. She does the buzzing to drown out sounds she does not want to hear. She flaps when she is very happy and needs to release her happiness.
What kind of parent would that make me if I demanded she stop this behavior?
I have been the parent of an autistic child for 16 years. I have learned in this time to accept and relish every moment with these children. I have learned that it is not for my children to be accepted by society, but for society to accept my children.
This will happen...and it will happen in MY children's lifetime.
- I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.
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