Think back to when you were 6, 8 or 10 years old. Do you remember
your teacher? Do you remember how you looked up to her? Her words
were golden. Do you remember when you forgot to do your homework or
weren’t paying attention? Her stern words cut you to the core. Not
because she was mean but because you desperately wanted her approval.
School ended and those days were long forgotten. Then my child was
diagnosed with autism.
Why didn’t anyone warn me I’d become that 8 year old again?
I desperately need teacher approval, not for me, but for my child.
This is a common sentiment of parents to children with autism. So if
you’re a teacher, Autism consultant, SLP, ABA therapist, OT, PT,
Psychologist, Social worker, Camp Counselor or anyone else that’s an
authority figure to a child with autism –
THIS IS FOR YOU!
My child has autism. I know that. I’m not in denial. How could I be?
I live it every day. I have other children. My friends have children.
I know the difference. They answer questions, my child might not.
They play together, my child might not. They share their thoughts, my
child might not.
My child is different. He is on his own mission. I’m happy to be by
his side. I am thrilled when he learns something new, no matter how
small. I am proud when he accomplishes something I once never thought
possible. I take delight in his idiosyncrasies. Please rejoice with
me. Please notice his worth.
My child is multifaceted. He has weaknesses and strengths. He has
deficits and skills. People are always pointing out the deficits.
Please join me in noticing his skills.
Teachers. In our meetings, please allow for some time to recognize my
child’s good points. When you do, I go home walking on air. When you
don’t, I drive home in tears.
SLP’s, OT’s and PT’s. When your opening statement is a positive
remark about my child, I begin to relax. When you only voice
concerns, my stomach twists into knots.
ABA therapists & Camp counselors. When you greet me by telling me my
son had a great day, my anxiety fades. When you focus on the
deficits, your words hurt me deeply all day.
Consultants, Psychologists and Social Workers. When you begin with
positive observations, my heart soars in delight. When you only
stress your concerns, my heart splits in two.
My child faces judgment at every turn. I invite you to stand apart!
Stand strong with us! Unique is good! Let’s tell the world! Help me
instill pride in my son. Show him his greatness. Try and see his
perspective. Praise him as much as you can. By doing so, you improve
my child’s life and build his confidence. You will motivate and
inspire him. He will exceed your expectations and I will be eternally
grateful to you.
– By Jene Aviram
Written for my sister, Beverley Del Greco. Beverley has two
exceptional children. One of them has autism.
This article is property of and copyright C 2003-2007 Jene Aviram of
Natural Learning Concepts. Reference of this article may only be
included in your documentation provided that reference is made to the
owner – Jene Aviram