Paula Abdul might have been right…let’s hope not. Life with a child with autism is constantly like taking three steps forward…two steps back…two steps forward…five steps back…will this ever end?
I am so proud of the progress my five-year-old son has made and dealt with his issues related to PDD and autism, but it’s a constant reminder that he is not typical and probably never will be, and that as a parent, I just have to accept the situation and make the most of it.
What does “three steps forward…two steps back…two steps forward…five steps back” look like? I’ll give you an example:
Three steps forward…our son will answer yes/no questions, he will go to the potty by himself, he doesn’t wear a diaper anymore, he knows how to use eating utensils…three steps forward right?
Two steps back…for no reason at all he will pee in his pants or he’ll just pee on the floor! He’ll squeal when we ask him questions, he won’t go to sleep and won’t eat things that he “loves”
Two steps forward…he will sleep all night, he’ll wait in bed until we go and get him, he will not get any timeouts at school.
Five steps back…he will get multiple timeouts at school, he will hit his sister, he won’t go to sleep for hour and hours past his normal bedtime and he will throw things around the home.
Thus the life of a parent dealing with a child with autism…and what can you do? Pretty much nothing. Be consistent, be consistent, be consistent. For some reason, unlike typical children it seems that children with autism will revert to previous behavior instead of continuing to move forward.
Yeah it stinks, but it’s not their fault–there are so many things going on inside the children, i really don’t believe it’s like they’re trying to be mean or do these things–are they trying to communicate? Are they trying to get attention? Yeah probably, maybe…I’m sure there’s some of that.
But oh what I would give to get inside my son’s head and know what’s going on…one day we’re going to be able to understand this autism and understand how my son sees the world and it’ll be great.
In the meantime…parents, especially fathers…take a deep breath, realize that it’s more than likely going to be three steps forward…two steps back etc…and every minute is a blessing.