Fatherhood

“Each child is biologically required to have a mother. Fatherhood is a well-regarded theory, but motherhood is a fact.”-P.J. O’Rourke The theory of fatherhood is the opportunity to be part of the development process of a child’s life. In truth real fatherhood demonstrate love, commitment, sacrifice, and above all willingness to share responsibility….it’s not walking away even when your child has a different ability. Perhaps being a father will be a man greatest source of achievement, pride and even inspiration. It can humble and teach a man about unconditional love, reinforce the importance of being a better human being. Fatherhood changes a mans’ life completely. If you had expectations or not about fatherhood, nothing can truly prepare you for the journey of surprises, blessings and great learning experiences. It’s a 24/7 job that many fathers gladly take on. The staying up late, child crying/screaming, playing ‘baby shark’ over & over, potty training, and cleaning up ‘who knows what’…is exhausting. True fathers have a good time and play with their child, but at the same time fathers balance a serious side to let them know they’re still the parent. Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth. It’s a matter of desire, persistent, and resolve for a father to see his child successful. Hearing M say “Dad” is awesome. Yes, being M’s father is really funny, scary, tiresome, and inspiring. It connects me to the world in a new way. M has taught me, as a father, patience and about being happy…I am on an amazing autism parenting journey.

Simply an autism mom learning

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Community

We have all known the pang of loneliness, many have found the solution to such plight in a community. The need for connection and community is fundamental as our need for air, water, and food. A community is not necessarily about location. Rather, it is the feeling of connection or sense of belonging or mere acceptance/fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. The greatness of being part of a community is measured by the compassionate actions if its’ members. In fact empathy is the starting point for creating a community. It is important to note communication helps members of a community understand and mutually value one another. We as autism parents have our own cultural, our own community which many people are unaware. In our unique community we emphasis that autistic children/adults are not  very unfortunate or very disabled. In truth it does take collaboration across a community to help such love ones develop better skills for better lives. Hence, M is a reflection of his community. His achievements are built upon a community of caring people working together. Today as we were driving home from therapy, it started to rain. M had a long day of school and therapy. I could see M was exhausted. As he gazed out the car window, the rain came down harder. M placed his hand on the window and said “rain”. This was an accomplishment for M, he would generally refer to this as just water. I smiled at M and said yes “rain.” Afterward, he closed his eyes to the sound of autumn rain. In that moment M taught me that his community consist of amazing early intervention, early childhood teachers, therapists, medical professionals, lawyers, family and friends…they all come together assisting M in empowerment to chase his dreams.

Simply an autism mom learning

Hope

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hopeMaya Angelou. The word hope to me conveys the idea of being able to see there is light despite all the darkness. In fact hope may start off as a mere spark but then give rise to a flame that lead to an illuminating fire. Wherever our autism journey take us, however dark and difficult the challenges, I believe there is always hope, because we as autism parents are optimistic at heart. We have learned to free ourselves of the hope that there will not be trails, rather we have learned to let our hopes navigate us through such trails. No matter how dark or difficult a moment my be with our beloved child, our love and hope are always there. Our uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experiences mold each of us into interesting/fascinating parents of a beautiful autistic child. We all embrace hope to enrich our child life and the world around them. In truth we may not always have a comfortable life nor solve every problem at once, however, we never underestimate the importance of courage and hope. Our hope is for M to grow up empowered, not define by autism but rather qualities that make him spiritual, respectful and responsible. M has taught me to accept finite disappointments, but never lose infinite hope…few things are more powerful than a smile…a world of optimism and hope.

Simply an autism mom learning

Imitation

It has been noted that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In truth being human has an unending linked with imitation. Perhaps a human being only becomes truly human by imitating other human beings. Of course, children learn to speak from observation and imitation. Lately M has started imitating words. This is often referred to as echoing. This occur when M can not understand a word or words of what he hear. In order to get hold of words, M often demonstrate this fact by repeating some word or words which he has been able to grasp. In this case echoing/imitation has degrees and stages of development. Thus, it is not a form of mockery. In honesty sometimes the process can be complicated for M. Hence, M may repeat something again and again until its’ completely processed. Since M is now a magnetic to words, I find the need to continuously keep monitoring what M hears. One day after school, M kept repeating the word ‘whisle’ aka ‘whistle’. For a whole week M kept repeating the word. The following week M started saying “I whisle” and proceeded to demonstrate. Upon visiting with M’s teacher, she noted how now M was repeating everything she said. Yes, M finally grasped the sentence/action ‘I whistle’. Now, M favorite sentence is ‘I whistle’. M taught me imitation today will one day lead to new thoughts which leads to speaking original thoughts…a door opening so many possibilities!

Simply an autism mom learning

Home

I believe our home tells a story about who we are and who we want to be. We represent ourselves by the things we use to decorate. It’s often collection of things we connect with or hold cherish memories. The smell of good food, sound of good times, and warmth of family/friends are what turn a house into a home. I always wanted to make my home like my moms’ in a sense. She was brilliant at cooking, decorating and filling her home with love/warmth. At the end of everyday nothing was better than coming home to family, eating good food and relaxing. Home should be where we love, laugh and live. True, everyone home on the outside look different. However, the inside of everyone home is their sanctuary and treasure chest of living. It’s where you can be yourself and not be questioned/judged. I love when M greet family/friends who come to visit our home. M feel more comfortable and relax at home. One day M great grandparents came to visit. M greeted them at the door. Later, M kept saying “oom” to them. After a few minutes, they realized they were being invited to Ms’ room. Yes, M was welcoming them into his world. Lately when we travel back and forth to hospital/doctor appointments out-of-town, M would say “home.” It melts my heart that M feel comfortable and loved in our home. M has taught me despite our life being busy and scattered there is no place like home…four simple walls covered in warmth and love with cherish love ones creating memories.

Simply an autism mom learning