Let me see if I can say this right. I’ve written it down in my own head a few times already (and it keeps getting jumbled) but I’m going to try to sort it out here.
My boy is 15.
We were diagnosed in the early days of autism when not much was known or helpful.
There was no Facebook,
no support groups,
no Wonder Souls.
There was just me, myself and I determining the direction of our sails and we were all three winging it.
With that said, my thoughts on ABA might not make sense to some of you but hang with me through the end. My unfriending of ABA has not happened because I dislike the tougher moments. That’s not it at all.
I know my son can’t always be happy and, just like any other child, there will be tough moments and disappointments.
I know there are moments when my boy is going to struggle.
I don’t expect his life to always be sunshine and roses.
There will be uncomfortable moments while he is learning when he will rail against me (and he has) because what he wants is the easy path and that sweet and easy path isn’t always what teaches us the lessons we need to learn. Honestly, there have been MANY moments when I have watched my boy scream and cry and thrown down a fit because what he demanded was not what I felt was best for him. It’s not pretty but those are the tough choices parents have to make and giving in rarely teaches us the lessons we need to learn and does not make for a life lived with responsibility.
What I promised my boy early on, and I only speak for us and our journey, is that I will be the one there for him. Especially in his very delicate early years, if there were rough moments when he had to be pushed or stopped or firmly reasoned with, I was going to be the one there for him. I can’t imagine a stranger being the one to push my child and for my child to be in a crisis moment with a stranger as his go to person.
I have never been able to fathom what that looks like or, even worse, what that feels like for a child already struggling.
I’m not sure that makes any sense but, for me, if there are tough lessons that need to be taught, I want it to be me who is looking back at him. I want him supported by the person he trusts most….not a paid service provider. If he has to be in a crisis moment, let it be his mom’s face he sees looking back at him. If there is going to be a struggle, his struggle will be with me.
ABA did not feel like a nurturing fit for us and simply had no place in our life. He and I did it all together…tough moments and all. If anyone was going to push my boy or change our expectations, it was going to be ME because I felt he not only needed it but he also deserved that.
As always, that’s our story and I can’t speak for anyone but us.
That’s what we lived.
That’s how I saw autism in our early days and I never gave any crisis moments away to strangers because, for me, my boy deserved to see his mother in those moments so that he would always know that where there is great love, there is also great responsibility.
Sparkle On, my friends.