Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Acceptance Is Never Too Late

     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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