I am not sure why autistic children in general have so many difficulties in their young lives. It seems they have many challenges that most of us have integrated in our lives successfully. There are so many questions that come to mind relating to autism and I realize not all autistic children are the same so these questions certainly won’t always apply to all and may only apply to some so please do not take offense to any of these questions but I find that they have entered into my mindset because of our personal experiences. We always want to improve upon the situations and do all we can but realize we need help, support and guidance and doctor’s who are committed and truly care. As I think of the many questions these are some that come to mind.
How do we help an autistic child to freely talk and express themselves? How do we help an autistic child to feel emotion and use their eyes to make contact with others? How do we make it easier for an autistic child to experience change in their normal routine and accept it? How do we help our autistic children to eat healthier and not be as fussy? How do we help our autistic children while they are experiencing a meltdown and help them afterwards? How do we encourage our autistic children to find friendships so they don’t have to do things alone? How do we teach our autistic children in understanding right from wrong so they finally do understand? How do we ease the burden of our autistic children so they don’t have difficulty sleeping anymore? How do we teach our autistic children to be patient and follow the rules so they don’t test the patience of others? How do we help our autistic children so they don’t get in trouble for poor behavior? How do we teach our autistic children the fundamentals of sports so they have less difficulties with coordination and gain an appreciation of sports participation? How do we improve our autistic child’s self esteem?
As the father of an autistic child I have been asking myself and others these questions for the longest time and still don’t have the answers. I have learned though that it is very important to embrace your autistic child and show them love, understanding and compassion. Equally as important is letting them know that you will always be there for them no matter what.
I have had times of great frustration in seeing my son struggle and seemingly shy away from others. I know the pain of being lonely and feeling shy so I certainly can empathize with my son. I only wish to see him be happy, feel good about himself, make friends, follow the rules, behave appropriately at school, in public, at home and at family gatherings, do his homework and always try his best in whatever he does. I don’t think this is unreasonable to wish for but I know how hard it is sometimes to get through to an autistic child. I am praying for my son everyday and hoping his behavior will improve as he realizes the consequences of his actions. He is a pre-teen and I am concerned for him during his teenage years and hoping he will be a mature and responsible kid as he grows. He has his share of difficulties socially and sometimes has a disconnect with reality and acts out in ways that are considered inappropriate and I get so frustrated because it seems no matter how many times I talk to him to help him in realizing right from wrong he seems to not understand and I am trying my hardest in looking for answers as to why.
I just can’t always be there physically when my son is having difficulties and when I am it is never for the same reasons. Anything can cause him to react out and have a bad outburst such as a meltdown. He does not seem to have a grasp of his surroundings at times and will react. This is quite hard on us as his parents. We want him to always feel comfortable within himself in any given situation and it seem that is not so easy for him. We speak to parents of autistic children and they also feel similar to us in how their child will react out at any given time and any given moment. I feel very alone sometimes as the doctor’s are not there to help us get him straight in his thinking. Our son is a wonderful kid but he seems to march to the beat of a different drum and I just don’t know why it is so hard for him to just listen and understand. I love my son and wish to help him but I am not a psychologist or a doctor and the one’s we rely on have many patients and Matty is just one of many and a 15 – 45 minute session once or twice a month is not going to make the difference it seems. It is a financial drain also as we are responsible for part of the medical bill and seemingly not getting all that we need to help our son.
I wish I knew how to calm my son and get him on the right track. Is it going to be sedation from medication that we will ultimately have to choose or will he finally come around as he matures? Honestly I do not want to have to face that choice as I lost my mom to being heavily sedated from medication from her illness and it affected me and made me realize how so unfair life can be sometimes.
No matter how difficult the road seems and how emotionally draining the situation I need to always be there for my son and guide him as best I can. I am far from an expert in raising an autistic child and I personally have not met an expert in childcare but I do know that my son needs me and needs our love and encouragement and that is certainly something we can provide as his parents. I also need to be as patient and understanding with my son as I possibly can and be not only his father but his friend.