Autism – A parent’s wish for their child

We all have our own ways of dealing with the difficulties we encounter in life and sometimes it takes a great deal of time and the loving support of others to help us get through them. I know from my own personal experiences how hard it is to recover and get back to a “normal routine” when we are trying to cope with life’s saddest of moments and how hard we try to be brave at a most difficult time. As I have grown to realize this I have also come to learn something very important and that is to always have patience, understanding and hope when it comes to raising an autistic child.
We as parents want to protect our children and always make them feel safe and loved. It is very important to listen and understand what is happening in their life and to give them the freedom and the time they need to express themselves and speak their mind. All children whether they are autistic, handicapped or normal have to feel comfortable with expressing themselves and fitting in. For children on the autistic spectrum it is a lot more challenging for parents and loved ones to communicate and reach them so it is essential that care be taken in understanding and reaching out to them and allowing them to share their feelings with us.

Every child has dreams and hopes and parents all wish to see their children smile and feel happy about their life and their surroundings. Children have an innocence in their young life and we always want to see them continue with this youthful innocence shielding them and allowing them to be kids for as long as possible. Children are seemingly growing up sooner and sooner these days and it is a shame because life has pressures and we certainly don’t want our children to feel these pressures too soon. Once you out grow your childhood you can’t go back so you certainly don’t wish to rush through it. It seems though when we are young kids we can’t wait to grow up and when we are adults we wish we could be kids again. I always remind my son that he should enjoy and appreciate his childhood because it passes by in a flash and when we look back we wonder how this has happened.

As I talk with my son I try to speak to him in a way where he feels comfortable and not make him feel like he is being lectured to. It is not always so simple and I admit I am learning every day but I know that with my son who has his share of challenges I have to walk a fine line in how I talk to him about his inappropriate behaviors and his feelings. I wish I could give him peace of mind and the feeling of always being protected. It hurts me terribly when I see my son struggling and having difficulty in school and I want more than anything else to see him making progress, learning and thriving.

It seems that autistic children have difficult times in relating to others and in expressing themselves properly. They often have difficulty with self control and in participating in activities with their peers. Sensitivities to food, texture, aroma, sound, crowds and change are fairly common and usually impact greatly on an autistic child. As I speak to my son I try to find out what is going on in his mind and what his wishes, hopes and dreams are. For a parent it is so joyous to see their child get excited about something worthwhile and show their enthusiasm and dedication. Children need to dream and wish for things important to them. Some children have a sad disposition that contributes to a feeling of depression and hopelessness and it is so critical that these children get the necessary medical attention they need because it is not something that should be brushed off as a part of growing up. Too many children are suffering and they must be able to communicate this to a parent or someone they trust so it doesn’t get overwhelming for them. If they don’t get the help they need they will wind up getting into trouble or worse.

Despite my son’s recent difficulties and his situation with being home schooled because his former school could not adequately meet his needs and deal with his meltdowns in the class room he is a great kid with a tremendous potential. He knows that he has to work hard to control his feelings and we try our best to explain this to him without getting him upset. I know in my heart he should be back in school and given a chance to tap into his potential and hopefully turn things around but I do worry for him and wonder when he will find it getting a bit easier so he can go back to an appropriate school setting. I am so emotionally caught up in my son’s situation that sometimes I feel like I am not doing all I can to help him. My biggest challenge is getting him back to school and making him realize how he needs to do his part in performing responsibly and with dedication and pride. He also needs to find something healthy to do with other children that will give him a renewed feeling of accomplishment and happiness and will also lead to a positive self esteem and an opportunity to make friendships. 

If I could fulfill my one wish it would be to see my son making strides and once again learning in school and making progress each and every day. I want my son to learn and prosper and find his way so he can do his best and help others as he always wishes to do. My son is empathetic and wishes to ease the burden of others but he first must ease his own. May you always walk with the knowledge that you are never alone, my son. Always remember that your faith in the lord will help you always.    

Edward D. Iannielli III  

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