And why do we struggle to explain this to others? Because we don’t want people to perceive our son as a bad kid. We want to explain to people how his frustration is because he cannot communicate, or because of his sensory overload, or simply because he is a six year old boy who is struggling to control his emotions – like most six year olds. We don’t want his frustrations to be his label.
We want people to see our son’s other qualities. For example, when he realizes he has hurt us, he is sorry. He tries to make it up to us by kissing us and hugging us. We want others to see how he needs reassurance that he is forgiven, and that he is loved.
This morning, the monkey was struggling with getting dressed. And for the most part, my husband is patient with him. He is so loving and sweet and kind to our monkey. But today my husband realized that this approach wasn’t working. He changed to a more firm voice and it still didn’t work. So what worked? Forcing my son to shower. This soothed him and after his quick shower, the monkey was ready to face the day.
Why was my monkey struggling this morning? I don’t know. Was it something he felt? Smelled? Was it the constant wind outside? Was it simply the lack of communication? Or did he just wake up cranky like some of us do every now and then?
And this is the part of autism that is hard for us to handle. The whys.
My tonsils got very swollen a few months back. And as much as I tried to take over the counter meds, I was getting worse. I stopped talking and relied on hand gestures for communication because of how bad it hurt. And it was frustrating. I eventually went to see my doctor and got treated. But I encourage you to try not talking for a few hours, and I guarantee you it’s an eye opening experience.
I know my son struggles. I can see his frustrations. Our scratches and our bruises are our battle scars in this autism journey.
Autism is hard. But loving you my monkey, that part is easy. ❤️❤️
Photo credit: Walk Down Autism Lane