Patience is a virtue.

As a child growing up I have learned many things. I’ve been influenced by so many in my life including my parents, my teachers, my schools, my church, my sisters, my friends, my employers and my relatives. They all played a role in helping me develop as a person and teaching me the fundamentals and my parents taught me the most important thing and that was to never give up, to always remember to stay focused and most importantly to have patience. I lived by this all throughout my life as I feel patience is a very important trait to live by. We are all tested and challenged in our life and we always have to remember that in order to succeed we have to plan and set goals. I learned early on that success and accomplishment rarely comes easy and it takes persistence, courage, determination and a lot of patience.

I am realizing more than ever how important it is to have patience especially in raising my son and helping him understand since he sees things differently than I do mainly due to his autism. Autistic children develop differently from most children and they lack certain things that most of us take for granted so it is very important to be more understanding of them and to have a lot more patience. At times my patience has been tested with my son especially with his behavioral problems and I have showed frustration in certain instances but have grown to realize that there is no benefit from outwardly expressing my frustration and getting upset. It only makes the situation worsen and makes my son more upset and less cooperative. If I am calm and exhibit patience with him I can then talk to him in a calm manner and then command his attention and help him to change his poor behavior. It is a challenge and it sometimes is difficult to know what is best but I have learned that a calm and patient approach is best in helping my son understand. When he understands that is half the battle.

We also rely on the teachers in Matthew’s school and realize that they work with other students so they can only exhibit patience for so long and that is why I have to impress upon my son how important it is for him to follow his teachers instruction and to show respect to them and to his fellow classmates. I try to have father-son talks with Matthew and try to understand the things that he is experiencing and try to help him through any of the difficulties he encounters and explain to him to try to do his best and to always remember that it is very important to conduct himself in a gentle manner and to be respectful and patient with all. When you can live by this you will find that it makes it easier to learn, to command respect and to make friends.

I know my son is doing his best and I feel for him and sometimes I find it hard to let go because I am concerned for him and I worry for him. I feel sometimes I have to try to just have faith that he will be ok and try not to think about it but naturally I do because he is my son and I love him and will always worry about him. I want to be able to see him leave for school and know that he will be fine and than I will feel more at peace.

When I look back it seems so unbelievable that Matthew is already 10 years old and has experienced so much in his young life. If anyone has courage it is without a doubt my son because he has to deal with so much more than I have ever had to. I know from my own childhood what I had to deal with and my approach was more secretive. With my son it is much different in that he is affected by a condition that affects how he interacts and conducts himself and it seems that he has to be taught how to deal with situations and how to behave and conduct himself. He even has to be taught how to make friends and how to act in public. He takes social skills classes which teaches him situational etiquette and proper behavior. I have every confidence in my son and I know Maria has been very helpful and encouraging as well. We both have a lot of patience with our son and I feel Maria and her mom are very good with him and we all love him and want to help him and teach him. Our parent trainer also gives us advice and strategies to help in guiding our son and teaching him so he can learn and behave and mature and succeed. That is what we want most of all for our son is to see him develop and grow to his full potential as we know he is very bright and has a lot of promise and if we can teach him to learn patience and to live by that then he will be fine. That has worked for me, It has worked for my father and I know it can work for our son too.

It is very true as the saying goes, patience is a virtue.

Edward D. Iannielli III

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