Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Autism, best thing to happen to me.. WTF?!?!? I hear you say..

Yep I'm slightly WTF'ing this myself. But it's the truth.

My whole world has shifted more than ever with Jack's diagnosis, but shifted in the right direction.

I even question how and why this diagnosis is different to Liam's diagnosis. I mean Spastic Quadraplegic Cerebral Palsy is pretty major, it is severe and it is beyond life changing, but for some reason Autism affects in a different way, a more powerful way... well for me anyways. A way that changes your approach to situations, to other people, to your children. Your patience increases. Your awareness of situations increases. Your eyes see differently.

When I started therapy with Liam it was hard, it was hell. It was an uphill battle. I felt I was missing out on motherhood. And when I got Jack's diagnosis I thought that I would be on that same painful path. But instead I found a different approach to therapy. I shouldn't even call it therapy. It is called having fun, embracing what your child loves and building on that. It is indeed a different approach and not everyone who has a child with a disability is on this type of journey. But working with Jack has made me re-think how to approach things with Liam. It has made me re-think my interaction with Evangeline. I am seeing that I have been experiencing 'motherhood' this whole time! And damn what a silly douche bag for not realising it! It may not be the 'typical' version of motherhood, but it's a version that millions are experiencing... I am not alone (remember approximately 1 in 120 children have Autism!!! and there's many with other disabilities diffabilities).

Anyways I'm going to be all over the place with this post, as I always am with things I get passionate about lol (yes I lol'd, just my insecure self getting in this post).

So as I was saying.. Autism, best thing to happen to me. Ok kind of selfish thought I know. Maybe I am the only one thinking this. And I most probably am. But hell I'm going to put it out there.
I was watching a documentary the other night called The Horse Boy and in it the father of a 4 year old boy with Autism said "Autism has made me a better father". I sat there nodding like a lunatic. Yes, yes, yes. I feel as a parent I have changed for the better, just in these last few months since Jack's official diagnosis. Not only am I feeling like I've improved as a parent, but as a human being.

How can one improve as a human being? I guess just in the fact that today I found joy, pure joy, in throwing streamers/cellophane in the air with my Jacky. Not to give, not to recieve. Just to be. To experience the simple fascination that shiny falling objects bring. I cried with a smile on my face. I looked at Jack and how he looked at the slowly descending spectacle. Seriously, how could you not be a better human for bearing witness to the miracle of life, of gravity, of colour and all those sensory sensations. To let go of the 'white noise' that we create in life. The unnecessary periphery that somehow takes up our mind space, our time, our energy.

Jack has taught me so much in regards to dealing with stress. When a person with Autism is stressed or excited they usually 'stim' or 'ism'. Such as flap, rock, jump, hum, bite etc. With my anxiety and depression I have noticed I calm quicker when jumping on the trampoline with Jack. Who knew the simple act of jumping continually could calm one down? Oh hang on that would be my 2 year old with a Diffability!

From learning about Jack I have learnt about myself. And certainly what changes need to be made. I am a work in progress, just as Jack is. As we all are.


Kate said...

Beautifully said Yeran. I know since my little mate's diagnosis I am more conscious somehow. More protective and seeig things through different eyes. Not just with him either, with all my children.

Stranger Than Fiction aka Yeran said...

It's amazng hey Kate! Who knew that it could do that? We are lucky on a different level <3 you're always in my thoughts xxx

SaraMG said...

what a great post Yeran! So loving, what a great mother you must be! "Your eyes see differently": very poignant :)

Marita said...

Oh yes, I'm learning so much about myself and being more accepting / tolerant of those around me.