THAT RUDE, BRATTY CHILD.
Everywhere you go there is that child that is being rude, running around, out of control, hitting out, throwing themselves on the floor, screaming.
You stand there wondering how a child gets like that.
Why don’t the parents have rules?
Why aren’t they stepping in?
What on earth are they like at home if they’re like that out?
You see the child not standing in line and pushing others, irritating them, not sitting nicely like the rest on the first day at school and you just hope that child doesn’t become friends with yours. Hope that you can avoid that child coming to parties, avoid them sitting by yours. That child with the unruly hair, shirt un tucked, mud on him already. You wonder what on Earth the parents are like.
I am that parent.
I sit there and see what you see.
I see it because I used to be like that.
I see your judgement, see your frown, and am torn between wanting a hole to swallow me, shame and anger at your judgement of my son.
You see, my son is perfect to me. Because there is so much more you DON’T see. So much more that I see.
I see my son hug another child and my heart swells knowing how hard that can be for him. I see him share and know how much of struggle he has overcome to that simple task. His mind works differently, uniquely. His world is just that. His. Letting others into that world is a huge hurdle for him.
You don’t see our rewards, our consequences, our routines. Yes we do have discipline. You don’t see me cry when the world looks at him differently. Cry when I see what you’re seeing. Cry because there is always the question of “is it me? Did I cause this?” You don’t see me wish he could be different, “better”, then cry more because I feel guilty for ever thinking that. Cry because actually, I never want him to change, I want the world to change.
You haven’t seen the battles we have had. The numerous phone calls from school because my son has thrown a chair, hidden under the table when overloaded with emotion, lashing out at others for being too near. The judgement on our parenting until someone professional sees what we see. The parents evening where we were told he wouldn’t hit the lowest level let alone be at the expected levels. The tears and tantrums and hours spent helping him after school to hit the preconceived targets of what a “normal” child should be, and then actually reaching where we were told he never would. The target society has deemed necessary as there is still an intolerance of anyone different.
You haven’t seen my son go to the hairdresser and spend ages trying to work out how the mechanics of the chair work. How the pistons turn on a train. Read up on the behaviors of a sloth and how many babies they have. Work out sums in his head and tell you the meaning of onomatopoeia complete with examples at 6 years old.
You haven’t seen the tears from “that devil child”, the “brat”. The gut wrenching sobs where he doesn’t understand why he does what he does. Heard him beg for answers as to why he acts as he does. You haven’t seen the hours of him being held by me because he doesn’t understand his body and mind. Seen him wishing to understand. Seen him cry because no one wants to play with him, or their mummy said they can’t talk to him.
My child may not be perfect to you. But he is to me.
I see how strong he is. I see how the smallest tasks others take for granted are overcome like mountains. I see how gentle he is to animals. How he asks ever so politely before stroking someones dog. Shushing them quietly thats it’s OK. I see him stroke his baby sisters hair to calm her. Tell her it’s OK, he’s here. I see his mind whiz at 100mph deciphering how something works.
I see his Autism and ADHD, not his “naughty behavior”. It’s not a label. It’s not visible. But it’s there. I see the amazing little boy behind it.
So next time you see that child, my child, think about the things you DON’T see.
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#keepyourjudgement #autism #differentabilities #labels #asd