A parent’s expectations

Children learn what they live and they are influenced by their parents, their surroundings, their families, their teachers and their friends. As a parent we all wish to provide the very best for our children. It is our most important role in life. We are responsible for our child from the very first day they are born and we want everything to be perfect. As our child grows and matures they will experience many things both happy and sad. We have to help to show our children how to live a life filled with promise, hope, joy, friendship, love and faith. We need to listen to them, hear them, understand them, speak to them, teach them, nurture them, play with them, forgive them, hug them and believe in them. We also have dreams and hopes for our child. We expect the very best from our child and we will always have high ideals and expectations for our child throughout their life.

We must always remember that our children look up to us and trust in us and it is very important that we provide them with positive reinforcement and encouragement all throughout their childhood. We are the first adults they come into contact with and they look up to us for direction and for guidance. We will have some challenges in raising our children which is a normal part of life and we need to understand that no matter what the challenges may be we must be strong and have hope to help our children in all aspects of their life. We also must realize that we can only do so much and when all seems beyond hope we must really have faith and love to help our child and we must have a positive outlook and not give in to our fears and our emotions. We must always stay focused for the sake of our children.

As we see our children grow we will realize that the time seems to go by way too fast. It seems the days of tending to our crying baby is a distant memory yet as we calmed them and tended to them and held them gently in our arms it seemed those days would last forever. It is sad in a way that those precious times are gone forever only to be a memory now. Every new parent should really treasure their child’s infancy and toddler years because they go by in a flash and before you know it the little baby is now growing up and going to school. The reality of life is that it is always moving forward and things change and we all must learn to adapt and live with the changes. As parents we want our child to be perfect in every way and we want them to always be happy and comfortable. We take great measures in providing our child a positive upbringing but we also must realize that life is not perfect and we will encounter challenges along the way.

Raising a child who has special needs can at times affect us in ways that cause us to worry and wonder what their future will hold. We must learn to get past these feelings and focus on the here and now. We can’t worry about the future. We have to focus on the time we have now with our child and we can only live it one day at a time and learn that we need help and support also so we can do all we need to do for our child. We must view them as special and never get down on them. We must always hold on to hope for them and teach them to believe in themselves and to never give up. They are here like we are to live their life and find their purpose. Special needs children also have purpose and they are beautiful and deserve to be nurtured, loved and given the same opportunities as their peers.

If I could share what it is like raising a child on the autistic spectrum and portray it in a picture and capture it in a truthful and realistic way I would show a photograph of a child standing all alone, silent with an expressionless face as other children are milling about talking and playing together. It is heartbreaking when you see a child in a crowd with no one to talk to and feeling all alone. I have come to realize that there are many children diagnosed with autism who have difficulty in social situations. Although they may be very bright they have extreme difficulty in self expression and making contact with others. They are awkward in making friends and in verbalizing their feelings. We have dealt with these same issues with our son and although he has made progress he still struggles in making friends and feeling comfortable in social situations. We are there for our son every step of the way and will stand by his side all throughout as he is our number one priority and we want to see him happy, well adjusted and have every opportunity to find special friends in his life and to do his best in school. He is our precious gift and we realize this every day and we want the very best for him.

We as parents have expectations for our son and over the years we have learned to understand his situation but we still believe in him and have faith and confidence in his abilities and we feel he is truly special and will find his way and have a life filled with opportunity, happiness, success and friendship. We love our son very much and we are so very blessed to have him in our life. We pray for him everyday and have faith that everything will all work out for the best. Love you Matty!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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