Lately I have been thinking back to when I first realized I had a different sort of child. It is the start of my search for answers and a time I’d rather not recall so often.
We had been questioning what makes our boy tick for the longest time what felt like forever… I had always known or felt he was different. My husband did also though he tried not to admit it to himself or to me. Admitting it made it too real I suppose.
I think about the ways I disciplined a not yet talking boy of two who had just started to walk and was an absolute terror. Within months of his walking every single drawer but one in our kitchen was gone. Broken by a sweet two year old who I can only imagine was frustrated and in anguish when he broke every single drawer. Sitting in the ones that were low enough, slamming the ones that were not. Pulling entire drawers out and smashing them. No matter how hard I tried to deter this behavior it happened again and again often times with me standing there doing my very best to keep the drawer in its place.
That’s one of the many things I’ve learned about Autism… Impulse control is almost non existent. Since then our son has tried to jump in front of traffic more times than I can count, gotten lost in a huge mall, has tried to wander off in several other unsuccessful times. We have used counting, reading, a chant that goes When I Say mom you say Adrian so he can play semi close and I can find him when I need to by saying mom to which he almost always replies Adrian or mom Adrian. We have used his favorite object a Teddy bear blanket that my husbands aunt made for his first birthday and which he is obsessively attached to as a calming device. I have also spanked him which never worked and I gave up on. The my parents spanked me and I turned out okay mentality has never been for me and well I haven’t always able to avoid my urge to spank I have tried.
I will never be a perfect parent nor do I think there is such a thing. All I can do is try my best, live with my guilt and remember what I’ve done wrong and learn from what I’ve done to make it right. I only hope that both of my children know how much I love them and are able to forgive me my frustrations and lack of knowledge.
Adrian with his blanket affectionately named Favorite Teddy Bear 🙂