So I walk into C’s room, he spies me with his peripheral vision. And then he looks at me, head tilted upside down, fingers pressed into the corner of his eyes. C hums loudly to drown out anything I might say. So I whisper in short sentences not directed at him but to the birthday present I am holding. His humming becomes quieter as if he is straining to hear what I am describing. I don’t give C the present as I know he will push it away so I open it and leave it in his room for him to look at in his own time. But I know he won’t touch it, he hardly ever touches anything, his fingers are glued in his ears.
Because of C's love of loud music we went to see We Will Rock You.
I could not blog without mentioning the dehumanizing (on so many levels to both Autistic people and parents) Autism Speaks video. But I have been finding it hard to put into words how it has made me feel as a parent of a young man who is 'low functioning' (I hate that term as C 'functions' as best he can) Even though C does not speak - with patience and understanding I learnt to listen to him.
His first school would not listen to him so I fought for one that did. His first group home did not listen to him so I found one that does. All without voodoo or fighting a disease – but fighting a system and by doing so I hope we have educated a few people along the way in their attitudes and listening skills.
By accepting C's Autism and working hard to help him I am not a warrior, or victim or hero. I am a mum who listens to my sons needs - it is C who has had to do the real hard work every day.
So don’t listen to Autism Speaks and their negative stereotypes.
(Excuse me while I have a C moment humming loudly with fingers in my ears)
With the right attitude and support and understanding children like C grow into adults who do have a good quality of life.
My son was not robbed from me and nor were my dreams.
I still want for C what any mother wants - for him to be happy healthy and fulfilled without pity and prejudice to reach his full potential.
We are hopefully on the right track.
Happy birthday C! I did manage to get 1 kiss in! You have taught me so much. I am so very proud. May you carry on touching peoples lives. Diversity makes the world a better place and love makes us stronger.