We had our parent teacher conference today for Aiden. We already had a progress report halfway through the quarter and have been monitoring his progress closely so we knew it was going to be a mostly positive meeting. However, I was shocked when it was all laid out in front of me. My 6 year old autistic son is testing at a 3rd grade level. What?! Um, excuse me, but what?! Way to go, Aiden!
So, yes, I’m bragging on my kid. My kid with challenges. My kid who can’t even tie his shoes yet. My kid who only eats about 6 different things on a regular basis. My kid who has sonic meltdowns when his schedule is thrown off just a bit. Through all these challenges, we’ve managed to find a wonderful team of therapists and educators who have pulled the smart out of him. As his mom, I’ve said all along the kid is smart, and thoughtful, and incredibly insightful. But who is going to listen to mom about her genius and insightful child while he is in the corner flapping and jumping and talking about how his shoes fit “blumbly,” appearing to not hear a word you tell him. Well, fortunately, I found a team who did.
He is truly my hero. He is fumbling through this world right now, a world that is too loud, too unorganized, too confusing and too crazy for his brain, yet he is overcoming it all and showing everyone just what he’s made of. He’s tough, and stubborn, and just so many things that I wish I was. Watching how he manages and overcomes his challenges pushes me to be a better person.
Today, he was flapping and jumping before going to school. He was excited that I was taking him instead of just his dad. All of a sudden, he stopped, slapped his own hand, and said “stop doing that, hand!” So obviously, he is becoming more and more aware of his “ticks.” I said “baby, don’t do that, so what if your hand wants to move. Remember what Auntie told you, that’s your shtick.” He just looked at me and said “but mom, why is THAT my shtick?” He’s starting to get self conscious of it. I just said because you are who you are and that is pure perfection. I pulled him over to me and hugged him tight.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with autism awareness, the symbol is the puzzle piece. My husband wears a pendant that says “until all the pieces fit” inscribed on the inside of a puzzle piece. Well, today I realized, our puzzle pieces, just as they are, DO fit just fine.
He is my superhero.