June 15, 2016

Autism Diagnosis - My Husband's Thoughts

Today I am sharing what my husband had to say about our son's autism diagnosis.  He wrote this post back on March 9, 2016.

A good part of me refuses to believe my boy, my son won't be able to achieve all the dreams I'vehad for his future. Every man wants a son to be his little prodigy, and to teach him all that he knows along with something he doesn't know (but pretends to). But, after an autism diagnosis, I wonder what his future holds, and struggle to reconcile what I want for him and what is realistic.

I've never been someone who will say they can't do something, and I think that's a big reason why I can't bring myself to say that my son can't either. To me, this diagnosis is a new challenge to be overcome with therapy so he'll be just like me. That's really it too- I want him to be like I was as a kid growing up because I know how to talk to (a version of) myself. I know what I did/didn't want or need to hear growing up, and I can use that knowledge in teaching my son. But, how can I do that now? How can I know what's going on between his ears? How do I know the best way to talk to him, to play with him, work with him, teach him? The fact is I don't. In reality, I would never know what's between his ears, regardless of whether he was autistic or not. Everything I think I can teach him in his life; pitfalls to avoid or opportunities to take advantage of seems less likely to be of value now, even though that potential value would have been questionable regardless. As a result, I suppose I feel less valuable now. I have an amazing wife who's an unbelivable mother. I've always said that my job is to not screw up- Amy will raise amazing kids. My role was to be someone they could always count on for counsel or have a fun time with. But, is that what my son is going to want or need? A child isn't going to come to a parent for counsel until they're older with more "adult-like" questions or concerns. What if he never has those concerns? What if he's like the 80% of autistic kids that end up living with Mom & Dad and never moving out? What use is any advice on renting an apartment or buying car insurance or a bunch of other silly things that are necessary in life, if they're not applicable to him?

Typing this up, it's becoming clear that the real problem here lies between my own two ears. I value myself based on what I can give to my children for their lives- not the material stuff, but knowledge and experience that they can recall someday when they're older and be thankful I was around to share what I know. I'm not saying I know a lot; its the scarcity of knowledge that makes the little I do know even more important for me to share with my kids.

Amy asked me to write about my experience with my boy and his diagnosis, and all I talked about was me. I guess that's the real moral of the story: his autism has become my problem, not his. I'll love my son forever & always, autistic or not.

1 comment:

  1. Such a sweet post from your husband. He shares a lot of my (and my husband's) thoughts as well. I love that he was so open and willing to share.