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Great post. I’ve so been there. We actually don’t go to playgrounds anymore. My son is 8 and while he is much more social than he was as 4, we try to protect his self-esteem for now. We sign him up for special needs sports classes and tend to stay in that world with kids and parents who “get” our life (we only have one child so it’s easier to do).. That being said, he’s come so far (socially and in other ways) and we remind ourselves of that all the time. He’ll find a way to fit in, but it may not be in the playground or at large parties when he grows up. But there will be a place for him and yours I’m sure.
This is very honest and moving. As a mother of a boy who struggles in the world, I get it too. You are right to take inspiration from your son.
Oh yes, been there too. and still often am. I hope for you it gets easier generally like it has done for us. Of course the hurt is still there, and it still seems always unfair that you have to learn how to cope with the sadness of them not being ‘the same’ as the others, but at the same time the great sense of achievement when they do anything you wouldn’t have expected them to be able to do is just an amazing feeling. Last summer we went to Legoland, and today we’ve just been for an unplanned, spontaneous walk in the woods with our 4 yr old ASD girl – neither of these things would I have ever imagined could be a success, and yet they were. They do continue to grow and change, and who knows what they will be like as adults? There are probably lots of ‘them’ (adults with HFA) out there, just not diagnosed as it wasn’t recognised so much before.
Sorry to go on, but I also have found great ‘comfort’ and advice in support groups, and at the same time I get what you mean about it being humbling to meet all the other special needs parents. Good news about the effort he is making – anotehr amazing thing is how their peers just accept how they are at this age. It’s a good life lesson for the peers too – see, we’re doing them a favour really 😉
My daughter has attachment disorder not the same as having autism but the worry for her future is sort of the same, having a sense of not belonging and being ‘different’. I have found great comfort from seeking out parents with the same issues and introducing our children to each other. It does give her a sense of belonging, of not being different from everyone else and are real people that we can talk about.
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