This post is now available in the ‘Life with an Autistic Son’ ebook available to download from Amazon.
I identify with so much of this post – M does the same, the lightning switch from ecstatic to bereft, smiling and laughing to screaming fit to burst my eardrums. She has no emotion regulators, but she feels very deeply.
And your posts always shine with how much you love both your boys – don’t worry, no danger of sounding negative 🙂
You’ve just made me remember the happy time today when our ASD girl came to get us to come and look at the computer as she’d just found a jack-in-the-box Swiper who changes clothes randomly every time you click. It was the funniest thing ever for her, and she wanted to share it. Her laughter is so infectious! She is also not happy seeing people upset… like I was yesterday when she tipped a whole cup of water over our (very expensive) keyboard, thus rendering it defunct. Ho hum.
I can’t wait for next weeks, your so honest and can tell you both adore your kids. While I was trying to find ways to manages C’s behavior this week I struggled to control my own – bad week
I always enjoy your blog posts and often feel like you could be writing about my own 5 year old son. (Especially the bits about school and the screaming!) You never come across with anything other than love – so don’t worry x
I did a parenting course at my son’s special school a few years ago. It was one of the best things I ever did. It was called The Nurturing Program and I still refer to the handbook. It didn’t *tell* us how to parent, it allowed us to discuss things and gave us examples of things to try. I think the biggest thing for me was praise – jumping on the ‘good’ behaviour as soon as possible and praising in a really obvious, over-the-top way, using gestures and big smiles to emphasise. I think this has been invaluable. The other thing, for me, was the ‘use your words’ when the child is incoherent. All of this easier said than done when they’re only little, though, and these struggles are continuous – your son’s not a baby but he is only five (I feel like the grand dame with my teenager lol). It is bloody hard and no one who has not done it has any clue what it is like. Autism parents unite (‘cept we’re all too tired) 😉
Brilliant and honest post. Thanks for sharing, maybe it’s the changing of seasons but its also been a difficult few weeks with our son. And to top it off I’m sure there’s another half term coming up! Jeees, I’ll take my gin straight..
This post was a trip back in time for me. Oh my! We had such a LOUD child and we are very quiet people! We too said Ted had two speeds: high and off. He was so intense. But, as I read this, I had to really work to remember those days, times once so fresh, so raw, are now distant, fuzzy memories. And that high speed, well he is now set at medium, low and off. Maybe he used up all of his “high” in his first decade. 🙂 Your post is honest and oozes care and concern and love for your son. No need to think any differently.
The debth of your love for your son is obvious in every one of your posts that I have read, life with an Autistic child is full of extremes and while this may sometimes feel like your riding a rollarcoaster which never stops or has no exit there are the most wonderful views from the top and the excitement of each new twist and turn is unparalleled!
I too agree that saying an autistic child is lacking in emotion is completely opposite to my experience with both my son and his friends on the autistic spectrum, struggling to process or communicate what you feel is hardly the same as not feeling it at all! And while we are repeatedly told that empathy is not possible for autistic children (or adults) my son has always found it very distressing to see anyone upset, perhaps the “experts” can at least admit this is an emotion autistic children are all too familier with and can entirely understand what this feels like and hate to see others feel when they know how horrible it is for themselves!
Oh, would that be empathy? I think so!
Autistic children may often misinterpret the emotions of others but when he recognises an emotion I have found true empathy from my son! He loves to laugh with me and would move mountains to cheer me up if I were upset! I have known him spend an entire lunch break searching the school for the school councilor because a younger autistic boy was struggling with his emotions and my son knew from his own experience that the school councilor could help…
We must never allow the misconceptions of others to limit our view of what our children can think, feel and do, instead we must try at all times to give them the tools they need to handle situations, learn and communicate.
Looking forward to your next installment on this subject next week!
I love your honesty. Refreshing. My son will be 20 next week and lost his very good friend a month ago who was autistic and had seizures. Dealing with death was so overwhelming. It seemed even harder on me than him when we finally told him. Yet everyday we hear the name of his dead friend. We remind our son that one day you will see him again, but not now. http://alesiablogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/journey-2/
I know a little about autism as my cousin is. But more about DeafBlind and communication is also a problem… My middle kid was the one we’d wake up gradually… he didn’t like change and now is much better however just was a very active boy and now is growing up more easy going… i’m sorry you have to deal with these struggles. hopefully it will get better over time.never forget a parent that tries and continues to hang in there is much better than the ones that give up and check out. all we need to do is try and give love… 🙂
“Many of my preconceptions about autism have been proven wrong over the last few years.”
I so get this. My son also has trouble processing emotions. Everything is an explosion. There is never any in-between. Good to read of your strategies for dealing with it. Thanks for sharing.
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