Today after I picked Christian up from school we stopped at a gas station we recently discovered. This particular gas station has two restaurants inside, so before getting gas we decided to look at the menu. We’re both big fans of Mexican food so it was almost a no brainer to order tacos to go. However, before I ordered I asked Christian if he wanted tacos. After all he can talk and a little over a year ago started to give his input as to what we ate. After asking him what he wanted to eat I discovered he wanted pizza instead.
It’s such a natural reaction as a parent to make all of the decisions because we have to run our households. However, I was reminded today that as our kids grow, it’s important to let them share their opinions and make decisions. Life is full of decisions and because being able to make good ones is so important practicing make them, no matter how small they are, can only help in the long run. I guess as a parent I grew a little today.
Things can be tough sometimes as parents/caregivers of children with autism. However, despite the challenges that we face with our kids we must stay planted in the belief that our love, support, advocacy and tireless efforts are worth it to give them great childhoods and bright futures. Remember…our loved ones are touched by autism not held by it.
So life throws us curve balls sometimes. I walked everyday, ate lots of vegetables and never ever missed one my prenatal doctors appointments. The result, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy that just happens to be autistic. Am I less thrilled to have him? ABSOLUTELY NOT. The fact is that my son being autistic is just one label that fits him. His other labels include, happy, playful, funny, cute, quick learner, athletic and the list goes on and on.
It’s important that we not focus so much on what our children lack that we forget about all the great traits they possess. If you were going house hunting and found a house that was the perfect size, color, price and location you wouldn’t consider it any less great if you didn’t like the door knobs that were on the closets. You would work on the issues that needed adjusting and be thrilled about your work. The big picture is all the work that we do with our children now is so well worth the bright futures they have ahead of them.