Today I asked my Mom if I should question her judgment in telling me I am "magnificent." It has not always been her message. I guess autism is a process of growth for both parent and child. Just as I had to grow into my personhood, she had to grow into her parenthood.
The child who starts with acceptance is extremely lucky. More often I think it starts with parents like mine. I know they love me now, but they were more the enemy back then. I only wanted to escape the onslaught of the world back then, too much it was. If I had been surrounded by peace instead of turmoil the world may not have been such a scary place for me.
My Mom is a "do it" person. Patience she needs to work on. In some ways this was good. I could do in motor for her what I could not do for myself or others. It caused her to believe in me when I did not. It also caused me to hate her.
Anger was my motivation for a long time; to not become a puppet. I understand compliance as important, but it also teaches lessons better left unlearned. It makes you afraid to initiate beyond what is asked of you. Fear of failure is a compliance creation in part; to sit and be released on positive responses only is what does it. Lessons in autism frequently transfer by association. Positive reinforcement as a word but not practice, negative reinforcement that only serves to heighten an anxiety that already screams for relief - this was my invitation to the world.
Take a child whose senses have already deserted them and expect them to learn in this environment; this is your ABA, the real lessons you are sometimes oblivious to. It is why I say learn your child. To pay attention to their discomfiture is a gift you give yourself. It saves them and you from having to walk each alone through the process of growth. A path shared is a positive journey for both parent and child.
Mom and I crossed paths more often than we shared them. We became a team much later, but the damage remains in emotional memory response for me. To write sometimes revisits it.
Knowing I am "magnificent" in her eyes now, not because of anything of I've done, but simply because I am helps a lot. Acceptance is important. It can never come too late.
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