What have I learned along the path from my sons diagnoses to adulthood? I have learned to not compare my children to neurotypical Johnny who lives down the street, the child who learned to tie their shoes with ease and much younger then my child with motor skill challenges. Learn he did, just later than most. Through these experiences, I let go of my sense of perfectionism and vision of who my children should be. I realized that who they were destined to become was their path in life not mine.
A wareness and appreciation of differences for all individuals within society has been heightened by parenting a child with Aspergers Syndrome.
S elf discovery has occurred while parenting you. Experiencing your uniqueness has caused me to realize that your thought construct is as advantageous within society as mine. If I wish for you to understand my world, I must attempt to understand yours as well.
P erceptions of who I thought you would be were replaced by appreciating who you need to be.
E very day experience has taught me to expect the unexpectable. Challenges arise, yet you have climbed mountains and developed skills that I never expected you to achieve.
R eflecting back on your childhood, I realize parenting you and observing first the child and now, young man that you have become has been an honor for me to witness. I am forever changed because of you. You have instilled in me a sense of greater tolerance, acceptance and understanding for others. You have your quirks, yet so do I and everyone else.
G rowth through self discovery. In observing your path to adulthood that was fraught with challenges that you faced with the force of unimaginable strength, I was forced to face my own weaknesses and strengths. We climbed and slipped down the metaphorical mountain together. As your parent, I felt the pain of your struggles. Your achievements taught me that hope and dreams are not an impossible goal.
E xpectations have changed. You have taught me what is important in life. It is not a big house or millions of dollars. The important thing is happiness, health and accepting people for who they are, looking beyond perceived deficits and noting the talent within as well.
R especting those who are different then my idea of fitting into social norms. I have learned that it is a grand thing that not everyone is a square peg fitting into a square hole. The square peg who enmeshes with the round hole is part of a group of people who change our world for the better by thinking outside of the box.
S urprising me every day of your life with the chance to experience new perspectives on life.
P erhaps neurotypicals have far more to learn from you then you learn from them.
A chance as your parent to realize unconditional love.
R iding through the frustrations that we have both experienced and realizing the challenges have provided a deeper connection between us.
E xcitement for what you have accomplished and what the future has in store for you.
N ew experiences await you as you venture out as an adult. I must let you set your own path. You will both fall and succeed. I must let you experience both as it is time to let go. As you forge forward and experience independence, I will always be a call away if you need to be lifted up.
T o my son, thanks for being the unique young man who marches to the beat of his own drum. I am honored to be your Mom. You have taught me much and provided me with the gift of wisdom. You have taught your old Mom more than you realize.
If you like my articles, as the parent of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome/ A.D.D and an educational professional, I am also a published author of many special needs and autism related books written to inspire and support parents, families, educators and society at large as well. Please stop by and check out my books on Amazon.com at Mari Nosal : Please stop by my site at Amazon Books and check out my published books on autism aspergers special needs and more http://tinyurl.com/kdspqy9
Mari Nosal M.Ed