I am going to take some poetic license here. One of the strange things that parents do, and it’s human nature, is compare their kids to other kids. We know we are not supposed to, but, who always does what they are supposed to do? And, even if you don’t admit to it, it still happens, or you still do it. Of course this is not limited to kids with autism, all parents do it. In some ways it is good, if we didn’t see a bunch of typical kids at parties when Bryan was little and notice that he was not behaving like they were it might not have occurred to us that something was wrong. Our relative space in the universe is important as a benchmark for functioning. I try so hard not compare Bryan to other kids on the spectrum; they are all so different, all have different ways of “showing their autism”. Bryan jumps and flaps and perseverates. Some kids don’t like loud noises or touching. Sometimes I think you get the kind of kid you can handle. I don’t know if I could take it if he wouldn’t let me mush him up and kiss him. I am the type of Mommy that kisses and hugs even if it’s embarrassing or unwanted by the kid. I tell them all the time, “I will never leave you alone, never.” Resistance is futile!!
What’s tough is you see some families that literally do nothing extra for their kid and the kid is moving along fine; other kids where the kid has more therapy and programs than 10 kids combined seems to be making little or extremely slow progress. Our goal is to make sure we do everything we can do, well mostly…Do we achieve that goal all of the time, absolutely not, but we try. Why do we care what other kids are doing? What does it matter how our kid is doing compared to others? I don’t know really but I guess thinking about it keeps you in check to be happy for what you have and where you are and to stay focused.
Bryan has his overnight Sea World trip this week; so proud that we will be the first parents to send a child on the spectrum with the 5th grade class and that he is the first 5th grader on the spectrum to be going. Relatively speaking, we are doing ok!