Two and a half years has passed since the Batsman was diagnosed with autism. All at once, that time has flown and crawled. For around two of the last two and a half years, most of my thinking has been about the Batsman himself, about how we can best support him, help him overcome challenges and advocate on his behalf so that others can do the same.
The very challenging days of many tears and meltdowns that we faced so frequently when the Batsman was three years old are fewer now. Our sailing is a little smoother. Not every day is wonderful but we are in a good place with managing his anxiety and with propelling him forward within his combined kinder and home-based ABA program.
When we have these periods of relative calm, I find my mind wanders to thinking about how much my life has changed during these last couple of years and the impact that the Batsman’s autism diagnosis has had on me. I also, perhaps a little too much, find myself reflecting on my own gig as “mum” for the Batsman and judging and assessing my “job performance”. I think about how I do things as the mum of a child with autism – about what comes easily, what is so much more difficult and what my greatest personal challenges are in this role.
I am a multi-tasker, almost crazily so. I am swift to get things done. I am efficient and capable. So guess what? My greatest challenge in being the mum of a child with autism is patience. When our beautiful boy, needs to go step by step to complete something, I struggle not to hurry him. When his need for control and order and repetition is powerful, I struggle not to skip steps. I constantly need to remind myself to breathe, take time, go slowly and let him find his own path and rhythm. But my oh my, it’s tough when my natural instincts and ways are all around moving swiftly from one task to the next. Forgive me, my gorgeous Batsman, Mummy is always in a hurry!
If you are the parent of a child on the spectrum, please feel welcome to join me in “fessing up! What is your greatest personal challenge in this role?