|Woodjie DID name them, I s'pose.|
I have four diagnosed children, and two who are, shall we say, eccentric. So I can tell you each child needs something different from parents, and when you're dealing with an older child, the best way to know what that is is to ask him. It's such an obvious answer that often we forget it!
|Something we've been having trouble with.|
It's odd to say, but the best help I've found has been the willingness to leave what isn't working. Doctor isn't listening? Buh-bye. School won't work nicely with your child? Homeschool. And so on. Sounds simple, but you know it isn't.
But I also can't stick with what's not helpful, or with people who I don't think are on my child's side. I've found bridges I thought would last through the ages are presently nothing but char. And that has to be ok. I've got to do my best job, even though sometimes it's not good enough - most parents feel that way some days, I'm sure.
To parents facing a new diagnosis, I'd tell them that autism is not your enemy. It's a difference and you have to work with it, but it is not necessarily a bad thing. I never thought my kid's super-white skin was a bad thing, but I must make allowances for it if we're to go outside. Not doing so is poor parenting.
|Woodjie loves Pokemon.|
It sort of sucks that we moms of autistics have to make so many allowances in this world so that our children can function. It sucks even worse for our kids. You're going to find all kinds of crazy stuff - and crazy and resentful people - in this world and most especially when you are dealing with something like autism. My best advice after "listening to your child?" Is to find friends. Which is hard. It is hard, hard, hard. They pop up in unexpected places, though. One place I've found friends - and even local friends - is the internet.
You found me, right?
|Edited to add Woodjie's vest (back of chair) and Woobie cloth (foreground). He also has a brush and we curry the kid like a pony. Hey, whatever works, right?|
I'll leave you with a few links I presently find helpful. Feel free to comment with things that you find work for you.
ASAN - The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network
Sisterhood of the Autism Mothers and a Few Great Dads - facebook group
Autism Blogs Directory - site has not been maintained lately, but a good starting point to find other autism-related blogs.
The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene. A particularly good resource for parents of "difficult" children.