I had one of those moments this afternoon that erased all the stress of the past month. I was watching Michael excelling in a way I hadn’t witnessed in a long time. I and his father got to sit in on one of his reading and writing tutoring sessions. This local center is absolutely incredible at helping kids with intellectual challenges master the art of reading, writing, math and later on, life skills. I of course found out about them through Michael’s wonderful adapted preschool years ago, and last year, we started Michael there. Most of my Mom community send their kids to this place. It is another extension of our community, the wonderful special needs community in our neck of the woods.
The best way to summarize it is to say that Michael’s reading and comprehension have grown by leaps and bounds. I was still surprised though, but just how well he is doing when I sat in on a session today. I sat next to him transfixed by how he was reading, understanding, cooperating and so confident and proud. I was the beaming happy Mom whose eyes were filling up with tears. I thought I would start bawling from joy right there in the office.
I’ve been so worried about Michael’s mental state, his anxiety and I know he’s been feeling a little lost and scared. And you know as a parent, you want to be able to tell your child you can help, you can take away their fear. I’m still in the process of finding him new tools to help him with his new fear and challenges. So to see him excelling and confident, was such a boost of hope for me. I saw that, even at the most difficult of times, when I strongly suspect we will be dealing with another very intense condition to autism when he will be re-diagnosed, I saw that my little boy is a fighter, and most importantly, he will persevere through any difficulty that comes his way. He will fight because he doesn’t give up, and neither do I as his mother, advocate and biggest fan, even when he drives me crazy with challenging behavior, questions, clinging to me then alternating with insults. I see the scared, yet capable little boy emerging, whom I know will one day be a man. I want that man to be strong, capable and an advocate for what all adults with autism and underlying issues CAN do, which is more than many people give them credit for.
Michael, you opened up my eyes to the side of you that is always there, even through the hard days, nights and constant challenges thrown in both our ways. And you’ve shown me that they are YOUR challenges, and though it is hard for me sometimes as your Mom, you need me to stay balanced, positive and always in your corner. I am always happily surprised how you surprise me. You are incredible, a true force to behold, and I am so grateful for the lessons in patience and humility that you teach me every day.
Exceptional Parents, how many times a day are your eyes open to the amazing abilities of your Exceptional Children? I’m sure it is more than one or two times. How many times do you allow yourselves to focus on their accomplishments and NOT their challenges? From personal experience I know how hard this is to do, but I also know how incredible it is to see your child excelling, particularly during a very rough emotional time. Always believe in them, always believe in your abilities as their advocate, and never stop seeing their possibilities, even in the rough times. That is what will keep you and your children afloat. Until next time.