We were at the nutritionist’s office a few weeks ago when she asked me “How do I tell parents how to do what you’re doing with your son – because you’re doing it all right and other people ask me and I want to tell them how you do it?”
So many people have said or asked “How do you do it?” and I never realized they were genuinely asking me “HOW do you do it?” Not “How do you DO it”. The nutritionist finally worded the question in a way I understood.
My answer was – I parented my child.
It’s that simple. Notice what words are NOT in that sentence. I simply parented my child. We had to do things differently than others, but I don’t like calling that accommodation or adaptive or anything else like that because I feel that makes my son “less” because of his differences. Who’s to say who’s way is THE way – and the rest of us should emulate? If you parent the child, you provide the environment the child needs to grow to it’s highest potential. Sometimes that means non-traditional strategies for meal time and social interaction. It means thinking outside the box. It means putting down the parenting books and following your gut. If you can shut out the voices of all the people who mean well but don’t have to live it, you can hear inside what your child needs from you. I’ve been a parent to many children that weren’t mine biologically. It’s nothing to do with the child – and everything to do with the parent.
Gender roles have had a large influence on everything. I don’t think they should anymore. I think “parent skills” are one of the things in the DNA soup. Either you’re born with them or you aren’t – along with eye color, foot size, and mathematical abilities. I raised my children without imposed gender roles. They picked up things from environment, but I never made a “boys/girls” divide and I gave them a lot of free will.
I also started asking one question – “Why do I have to do it like you do when that doesn’t work for us?”
This is the first sketch beginnings of the prologue to the book “Autism; Interrupted – Our Autism Journey” – I hope to have it written and moving through the gears and pullies of the system by April 2019.
Thank you to all who have followed me here and on Facebook. Just seeing the “follow” or the like has been so encouraging through some very dark times. Thank you.