It is currently 1am and I’m up blogging, even though I know my little man will be up in about 7 hours. I can’t get my mind to shut off so I’m writing it all down.
I mentioned before that, as parents, its always good to focus on what our children can do and not what they can’t do. A lot of the time this is easier said than done. It’s so easy for us to not only be aware of where our children are having challenges, but to also compare them to other children their age. Even though I try my best not to, I am still guilty of it. The past few days have been some of the more challenging days with Elijah. I know he wants so badly to tell us what’s wrong but he can’t verbally express it. His frustrations seem to be in his inability to communicate, and that breaks my heart.
I have let his frustrations narrow my focus on what he’s not telling me instead of what he’s trying to tell me. He’s not saying words but he is definitely telling me something. I won’t always know what it is and that’s ok.
How can I even begin to ease his frustrations though? Well, today gave me the opportunity to find out. He woke up from his nap in one of his worst moods. Screaming, crying, kicking. This kid did not want to be messed with and there was no way to change is mind. I decided immediately that I would do my best to stay calm and try to listen for clues. Is he pointing to anything? No. Does he have an upset stomach? No. Is he hungry? No. We brought him to our room, laid in the bed and turned on the TV. He calmed down almost immediately. Maybe he was just cranky from not sleeping well. And I think about how different that would have gone if I had gone in and been frustrated because he wasn’t able to tell me what’s wrong. I just focused on what he was telling me, and let that guide me through the process.
We don’t have it easy parenting children with autism but we can avoid making it more challenging. Look at what amazing children we have! We may not have the most talkative kids, but when they do say something or learn something new, we celebrate it like they just won a Nobel Prize. Because to us, celebrating those little victories is what it’s all about!