SoftThistle Life

Misconceptions I had about Max's autism.

AutismMarylin6 Comments

Sept 2012 It's so easy to get sucked down into that spiral of what if's.

Here is a list of the misconceptions I had about how life would be with my little man with autism, and how things have genuinely turned out:

  1. I thought he would never look me in the eye

  2. Or call me Mum

  3. I didn't think he'd ever sleep through the night without copious amounts of medications

  4. I didn't think Zack would ever have a little brother who'd want to play with him

  5. All I saw for our future was that dark tunnel getting longer and more difficult to negotiate, with no light to guide us out

  6. I saw his behaviour getting worse

  7. Him getting bigger and stronger

  8. Me getting hurt

  9. Zack getting hurt

  10. And eventually he would have to go to a home to be cared for 24/7 as I wouldn't be able to cope any more

  11. I even wondered if caring for him into his adulthood would be the death of me

But let me tell you something amazing... none of these have turned out to be true for my lil Max. Instead:

  1. he smiles at me with a twinkle in his eyes, holding my cheeks and resting his forehead against mine to look into my eyes.

  2. He did that properly for the first time last August, and now regularly calls me Mum.

  3. With the help of someone I like to think of as our fairy godmother, a much later bedtime (9pm), and visual aids for a bedtime routine, he now regularly sleeps from 9pm till 7am.

  4. Zack and Max are now usually found together in the mornings, cosied up together watching tv, playing Skylanders, or giggling away together at something on the ipad.

  5. Not only did we find that light at the end of the tunnel, we're out in the sunshine now, and damn it's beautiful!

  6. His behavioural issues have all but faded away now. Yes he still gets grumpy when things don't go his way, but it's much more containable now. And even the longest meltdown is minute in comparison to how he used to be.

  7. Well ok, this one is true, but it's not an issue now thanks to the above.

  8. Only by my own stupidity, like tripping over the damn cat, or losing my balance in some other precarious situation.

  9. Maybe while they're playing on the trampoline together, but never purposeful. Even when Max does lash out these days, it's a really half hearted attempt – more to show that he's not happy rather than actually trying to cause any damage.

  10. I now know that Max will be able to get support into his adulthood, and if things keep going the way they are (up!), he will be able to lead a happy and relatively independent life of his very own.

  11. Well I think of this now and I feel sad that my previous self ever thought that. I know that won't be the case now. No way, no how.

So if you're going through the depths of despair, like I was at the end of 2012, remember that things are almost never going to be as difficult as your imagination would like you to think.

Ask for help.

Take that step and you will be amazed at how much life can change as a result.

March 2014