Why I'm proud of my son
My son is not a swimming star, a baseball, soccer or basketball champion, a music or arts prodigy or an academic superstar. He is Autistic. So, what makes me so proud of him, you wonder? There are tons of reasons why he makes me beam with pride.
Every morning he gets up and I wonder how he would deal with the world once I seat him on his school bus. I worry that he has no way to communicate appropriately..that hardly anyone can understand him..that he needs help doing almost everything and that there is so much sensory overload for him out there but then I watch him smile, give me a tight hug and walk confidently to his bus like he owns the world , take his seat and wave me back and it makes me so proud of him that he is out there ready to face the world on his own in spite of his enormous challenges. He sometime even responds with a “bye Mumma” when I say bye. It just makes my day!
By now almost everyone knows how difficult it is for kids on the Autism Spectrum to deal with crowded and noisy places but we’ve been taking our son to malls, grocery stores, parties, and many other public places that can be difficult on him. He used to have a meltdown but he has come a long way from there and he has learned to regulate his senses and he has been doing so great at that. His progress makes me proud, real proud of his strength and his resilience.
He may not be a genius but he is learning to problem solve. I was so excited when I saw him pull up a stepper to get to a toy that was high up. He was having his yogurt and he actually leaned the cup enough to scoop out yogurt from those pesky corners of the cup..yay! He can get up and down a climbing net in the playground without much help. He makes me proud of how he is using his intelligence to overcome his roadblocks.
My son has a hard time differentiating 2D objects so an orange or an apple both appear apple to him. Pictures of all male is grandpa and all females is grandma but he can always identify his mom and dad in pictures correctly and that makes me so proud of him.He can now also tell what our names are. He loves us and he shows that in his own unique way.
He may not be developmentally there to hold a conversation but now when someone asks for his name he responds promptly with a “Deedant (Vedant)”...every single time. He responds to a hi with one and says bye when someone If someone told me last year that he would be doing this, I would have had a hard time believing but here he is and I’m so proud of the fact that he exceeded my expectations.
His physical therapist had predicted he would be sloppy and with his low muscle tone, he would have a hard time coordinating himself but he does so well on the playground, rides a bike without training wheels, climbs on rocks and navigates mazes, dribbles a ball like a pro and makes me proud every single time he shows off these skills and proves his therapist wrong.
Until last year we were struggling with his accidents at school. He would have to be sent in pull-ups. Today I’m a proud mom of a 7 yr old who does not come home with a changed pair of pants. He has come a long way and I could not be more proud.
Amidst all the mistrust, chaos and hatred in the world around us, the one thing that gives me hope is my son. I sometimes envy him. I want to be in that bubble where he is away from all that is wrong with the world. I want to be him sometimes. I’ve never seen hatred, jealousy, or any evil thought touch his soul ever. He gives me hope. Hope can be paralyzing but often it can be very encouraging too. It encourages me to believe in him and to see what good lies beyond the clouds of doubt and despair. I’m so proud my son has taught me how to be a better person.
Ever so often he will surprise us with something awesome...enunciate a word so clearly that it would amaze us, respond to something we never expected, do something we thought he couldn’t, hum a rhyme we thought he was not paying attention to, identify an object we never taught him the name of. He has helped us shift our perspective so that we can have a better vantage point for our lives. He makes us proud in so many ways. He may not be your traditional achiever but he is much more than that for me. He is our hero and we are his proud, very proud parents.