Raising a child with autism is like doing yoga. It takes patience, practice, and some days you will be more flexible than others.
Being motherly does not come naturally to me. When the munchkin was first born I was selfish as hell and still felt life was all about me. Based on my experience I believe the universe gave me the child a needed and not the child I thought I wanted ( I wanted the munchkin very much but being young I just assumed he would be “normal”).
Thanks to the munchkins autism, his patience with me is endlessly relentless. What can I say, I’m hard headed. 🤷🏾♀️ Before he truly became verbal his actions, which were repetitive, were clues to his wants and needs. There were very few tantrums, just consistent repetition.
From his patience I learned communication isn’t just about what’s said. To truly understand him I learned to be patient with him and myself.
Autism varies not only by individual but also by age. As the munchkin has gotten older his behaviors, motor, and verbal skills have gotten much better. They key to this is practice. This is the scariest part for most parents of children with autism because being out in public can trigger or overstimulate the child. As Ruth Soukup would say “DO IT SCARED”. I did!
I practiced with the munchkin at the barber shop. Initially he was sensitive to buzzing by his ears and the vibration of the clippers. We left the shop many times with botched haircuts/hairlines and/ or completely buzzed hair. That’s ok! Lol!
I practiced taking the munchkin to the grocery store by myself
To make things fun when he was to large for the seat, we would ride the shopping cart with him holding on to the front handlebar and his feet under the bottom of the basket (safety first! 😝). Once he got too big for that I practiced allowing him to pick items off the shelf and put them in the cart. (That last part in and of itself was a practice as he initially enjoyed spiking everything into the cart like a football at the touchdown line 🙄).
But yes when it came to helping the munchkin adapt to public situations I had start small and then practice practice practice!
Exercises In Flexibility
This portion is all in the mind. Our mentality sets the tone for pretty much everything we experience or perceive in life. For me, my mental approach is to find the fun in every situation. I bend my mind to the idea of this by actually playing with the munchkin, reading lots of fiction to myself and the munchkin, and not taking myself to seriously. I hear you say: I know we’ve all heard this several times before but I need to exercise this more often and so it bears repeating. 💞
Disclaimer: The above post are my own personal experiences dealing with my munchkin who is on the autism spectrum. You may find that some or none of the above mentioned experiences are feasible for you and your munchkin. 😬