Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Warrior Moms: Be Careful

You may think you are fighting against the autism...but your child may perceive it differently. He or she may think you are fighting against their very soul, that you hate THEM, not the AUTISM.  You know how children often blame themselves in divorce, if they had only been better...Their little souls are no less confused by your anger,when they are doing the best they can with what they have.

My son is 21. It has been a long time since I made his happiness my first priority, since I decided I had to give him good memories.  It started after he had a teacher in 5th grade. She knew what it was to not measure up. She said she had a lot of trouble in school, and the best thing she ever did was find something she was good at, which happened to be sports.  She could see my son was wore down, that the hours of homework every night, the "zombification" via ritalin to make his behavior acceptable, the trials of just not getting it like the other kids did.....everything was harder for him. She knew the answer was to build him up so he could carry on.  The whole year, he brought homework home about 10 times. She let him work at school to get it done. The three or four hours of fighting to get it done was a thing of the past. We could breathe...it was like we were a regular family for that one year.  You see, autism or learning disabilities are mostly impacted by the school environment.

He had never received any rewards of consequence in school. At the end of the year, she gave him eight. "Most Creative Writer", "Best Scientist", "Best Inventor"...things that meant a lot to him, and to his dreams.

It took a tender hearted teacher to show me how to love.

He needed support in who he was, not therapy for who he "should be".

Very recently, I've become aware of the great pain he had in childhood.

"I've forgiven you, Mom.  But every time you bring it up and apologize I feel like you are ripping off the scar tissue and exposing the fresh wound underneath."

Later, he brought up something about me hating him.

"I never hated you, honey.  Sometimes I hated the way you were acting...".

Gulp.

It occurred to me just now that while I was hating the autism that made him "act that way", he actually thought I hated him. There was no separation in his mind.

Now, I'm not telling you what to do, or how to raise your child.

I know many of you have children whose problems are very much more severe, maybe whose words you have never even heard.  I don't pretend to imagine their needs are the same.

Just be careful...

And....maybe you should shave...




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