This morning I woke up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Yes, this is mainly due to a wonderful night away with a girlfriend at a nearby spa where I was able to fully unwind body and soul and enjoy a delicious continental breakfast that I didn’t have to make or clean up after, but that is besides the point. The other reason I am feeling this way is due to Michael’s increasing maturity and the comments I am getting from teachers and babysitters praising his maturity and growth over the course of the year, and especially over course of the last six months. Saturday night when Dad and I came back from our date, our babysitter said how calm and organized Michael was. These were two words I could not associate with him several months ago when we were struggling increasingly with challenging behaviors. I also had a note from the school teacher about how mature he is at school. She spoke about how he is assuming more responsibilities with classroom chores and social interaction and learning about conversing with people. At home he is starting to help me with chores like gardening. It made this exceptional mom’s heart swell with joy, to say the least.
Yes, we still have challenging days, Michael and I both. And when I hear about a family whose child has been diagnosed with autism I am both supportive and open to them at the same time. Supportive as it is an extremely difficult time for the parents, the child, siblings if any and any other family member. Learning to live with a family member who sees the world differently will always have its challenges. Still it has its rewards, and the other night I was reminded of these rewards as I heard Michael telling the babysitter how to get home and navigating the streets with her. His brain is amazing! He is amazing! People with autism have incredible gifts, and this should be celebrated always, even when there are the tantrums, meltdowns and difficult days, remembering the intelligence that resides there is the most important thing.
Exceptional Parents, how many times have your Exceptional Children shown you what they are made of ? How many times have they shown you what you are made of? Never underestimate the gift of life, of looking at things in a different light, and about being open to new experiences, both opening yourself and your child up to learning and growing. When you do that, you, your child and society will benefit in the long run. Until next time.