As parents we are more likely to think we are doing everything wrong than anything right. That goes double for a family facing autism. For every one intervention you try can find a book by someone who is doing ten times as much with fabulous results (skip Jenny McCarthy’s book; read Karyn Seroussi’s). Any success is a miracle; any failure is our fault. The good days evaporate like rain in summer, the bad ones linger on like an endless, frozen winter. There are a million metaphors and just as many therapies.
But really, the idea behind all parenting challenges is to look at the child in front of you and identify two or three things that make you both miserable and try to work on them, one at a time. Only do what someone else does if it makes sense for your family. If you are trying a diet, remove one food at a time, and consult a doctor before you start (and if they tell you not to try it, ask why). If you don’t see results in 2-4 weeks, stop.
And have the courage of your convictions. Kids can smell doubt a mile away, and if they think there is one smidgen of a chance that you will cave on anything, they will wait you out. Next time I will tell you about one of my Tiger Mother moments. It was totally worth it.
When kids look into your eyes, they need to see unconditional love, and not doubt and fear. That’s one of the first things that Autism Parents need to learn, and one of the hardest.
Unconditional doesn’t mean Constant Capitulation to anything the child can come up with. Far from it. It means Constant Compassion and Commitment to help the child develop into the best version of himself / herself.
And … Thanks for writing this post. It gave me a strong sense of recognition.