I have never liked the saying “build a bridge and get over it” our culture has increasingly become more self involved and it seems like this has become more acceptable. Sometimes its very negative and self absorbed and sometimes people just don’t know any better. We have lost the ability to be in the moment with people, not supply answers or ways of fixing the person but just being there for them. Here is a clip from a cartoon of all things that demonstrates how powerful this can be, its not joy but sadness that helps the character bing bong move on. One of the questions I get most about Hezekiah is if he is a savant has some hidden super skill that I have kept under wraps. I know they mean well and its a way of trying to “fix” him when I love him just the way he is. When we go through tough times we should be there for the person instead of trying to one up them with something we are going through thats worse. We have lots of stuff going on around us lately friends and family both struggling with cancer. I want to appreciate every moment I have with them and not get wrapped up in my own problems. This bridge I will build and focus on them as we walk over it into the unknown and when I see another coming to their bridge I will take a moment and pause and be their for them in it.
As adults most of us can’t remember what it’s like to be innocent or when was the last moment we were. We are so busy thinking about how other people are going to do us wrong we tend to not have anything to do with anyone. Life in a digital world processing friends one like at a time, based on picture and presentation. When I talk with other parents its always about what positive things they can focus on with their child. Innocence is something that never leaves a special needs child I call it the window into your soul. They have a way of gut checking you in moments when you least expect it. With my son the last time I can remember seeing innocence is the last time I looked into his blue eyes. Next time you catch yourself having a moment remember it will pass.
This is one of the ways in which I deal with my son’s Autism and get exercise a good hobby with good people is a good thing. It seems simple but I have come across many parents with Autistic kids that feel like they can’t have any time to themselves but you need to. Riding is low impact which was great for me as I have a bad knee. I found a great bicycle club near by and it has been a time for me to get out clear my head and hang out with awesome people. You also get to see your city from a different perspective the best way I can describe it is it feels like experiencing how your city breathes. Here is a quick video I did that gives you a small taste of the experience that hopefully inspires you to ride. Its exercise, transportation, fun and can even be fellowship with the right peeps.
My son was mostly non-verbal for a long time where we had even received an iPad and raised money for expensive language apps. We found a great speech therapist and his language improved rapidly but he never call me dad or my wife mom. I never knew if he would ever be able to call me dad. We started seeing a connection with physical activities and language so we started looking for ways to connect with him. A really awesome couple at church had given us a trampoline so we started doing his therapy in the trampoline. We would have him do an exercise and he would work for “daddy jump”. The first time he called me dad was April 26th 2016 and now “daddy jump” which you will hear in the video is a common occurrence but on that day it brought a tear to my eye. His language has grown a ton over the last couple of years. We are constantly trying to find ways to connect with him and will be posting all of the ones that have been helpful for us.
One thing I found out about myself after having a kid on the spectrum is how resistant I was to advice. I found I wasn’t alone, when I interacted with other parents in general especially of special needs kids. My wife and I were for some reason we are very resistant to taking advice. We had convinced ourselves that our son was so unique no one could possibly help. The irony is we are constantly asking for help and feeling overwhelmed many nights ending in tears, yet denying others from helping in the form of advice. Without realizing it we become a lonely island. I wanted to post this quote and the song I get it from as it impacted me greatly in this area. Whenever someone gives my any advice on any subject I come back to this thought.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
Wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
Painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it’s worth
Read more: Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen) Lyrics | MetroLyrics
I have learned to accept and be thankful for advice because it means people care, sometimes it is helpful and sometimes its not. Taking advice is a lot like taking a gift its always best to accept it politely and maybe you can regift that advice to someone else if it doesn’t work for you. Here is the full song full credit to Baz Luhrmann. A lot of great advice in here.
Here is the intro to my youtube channel which I will be dedicating to things that have helped us raise my autistic son and also my a typical son. A summary of each video will go here if you can’t listen to it with volume provide a background on the video complete with links etc.
For example the full meaning behind unchewable is one day someone had said “Life chews you up and spits you out” and in that moment I said my faith has made me unchewable. I didn’t realize then how much my faith would be tested. Having a autistic son has affecting my marriage, how we raised our 2nd son, my diet, how I interact with others and how I look at life in general. On the news we constantly here about all the negative things that are happening. Here I want to be able to help other parents whether they have an autistic child or not and hopefully make there life a little easier. I will also be making blogs based on questions I receive so this can be a resource for others.
Posted in Autism