June 1, 2009

Transitioning with Autism.

I am often asked about how Nicholas “deals with change”, and my response regularly receives raised brows for he adjusts pretty well to the new and unfamiliar.  His hand flapping may be briefly exacerbated, but the smile never leaves his face.

While traveling to California which happened to be nearly a 1,500-mile drive, unlike a neurotypical child, I didn’t hear, “Are we there yet?’ nor did I hear sighs of anguish for being stuck in a car longer than 2 minutes.  What I did hear was laughter, singing, or silence whenever I spied him in deep thought or simply taking in the scenery.

Like any parent, I was deeply concerned about how Nicholas would fare going from being in a 2-parent environment back to one of single parenthood.

I was also concerned about whether or not he would ask for his “papi”, or if his dreams would be adversely affected from such an abrupt disruption in what had become the norm for him.

But I have, once again, been blessed with pretty calm seas in that he hasn’t displayed any “negative” or unusual-for-him behavior such as prolonged temper tantrums, hitting himself, or biting.

I can, however, look in his eyes and see that he is probably wondering about the major change that has taken place in our lives.  However, I do not hear any words expressing that concern.

He has become more affectionate than usual (which is not a bad thing), and he doesn’t like to be left alone in a room for any extended period of time which tells me that he needs to feel safe and secure now more than ever before.

In time, I hope he will come to understand that I will always keep him safe and surround him with loving people who want to be in his life.

The past two years were froth with drama.  I had to deal with insecurity, distrust, betrayal while doing my best to protect my son from hearing the hurtful words that filled the air.

I am grateful for being strong enough to remove ourselves out of that situation.  I am grateful for my faith in knowing that all would work out for us by doing so; that we would not suffer from my decision.  That we would be just fine.

Transitioning with autism has not been so bad.  This particular transition has made me a stronger parent.  I did what needed to be done.

This transition was about doing what was best not only for me but for my son too.  And I know that this decision was for the best for all involved.

Sometimes, change can be a very good thing!

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