It’s not that I want to change you. No. I want to change the world for you. I want to change my world, for you!
Son, remember that you are perfect as you are. It is humanity that is flawed in her understanding of the way a person should react to the world around them. It is humanity that has an ill-perceived idea of what perfect should look like, of what perfect should be.
Earlier this year I explained to you that we are going to meet a very special person that will hopefully help me to better understand you, and help me find the right tools to equip me to be the best parent that I can be, for you.
I realised that this niggling feeling in my gut, a feeling that I kept pushing aside, could no longer be ignored as we faced a multitude of challenges at home. I needed to embrace the idea of expanding our support team, but not just any team. You know, that throughout our journey, I’ve always strived to work with a team that you can relate to, a team that you feel comfortable with, because after all, how can one expect to support a child when the child feels ill at ease with his support team?
Son, know that this is my parenting puzzle that I needed to complete for you. I want you to recognize that you are just so awesome, and trust me when I say that awesomeness flows through your veins! Know that I speak the truth when I tell you that I absolutely love the way you think!
Son, when I sat with Ben, it was as if the sun was shining upon me, a gleaming light that shone into a deep abyss – someone who understood – finally gifting the precious light needed for photosynthesis to take place within me. I was overcome with joy and gratitude, I’ve found my missing puzzle piece, the piece, that in hindsight, has always been there. Masked by our focus on some of the other puzzle pieces that we found along the way. Unbeknown to me, we had already started supporting you with the necessary therapies that would help you develop and thrive as a young child.
Asperger’s. Neurodivergent. Autism.
What do these three words mean to me? Well son, it is my missing puzzle piece. This official diagnoses now enables me to equip myself as your parent. It helps me to better understand you. It empowers me to parent differently, to step outside of MY comfort zone and to push the boundaries for YOU!
I can now advocate for your needs, because in the world we live in today, it seems that acceptance and accommodations are only possible when you have the “diagnoses” to explain your challenges and prove your needs. In an ideal world we would not be speaking about accommodations or acceptance because we would all just be allowed to be who we are, no mess no fuss.
And like I said to you in the early morning hours of July 19, you are perfect to me. Always remember this, and never question your ability, and never allow others to make you feel like you are less than, because there is much more to you than what meets the eye. Your ability will elude those who only see what they want to see.
Things won’t always be easy (we know this), and I promise that we will navigate these waters together (a promise is a promise remember?). We will ride some awesome waves, some 360s and barrels that will leave us basking in the stoke for days. On other days we may have some epic wipe-outs that will leave us deflated, but then we just paddle harder and stronger! We will also have days where we will just float on our boards, and this is okay.
Know that I see you, know that I seek to understand you (and some days I may not want to understand you – eeck!). Know that it is okay for us to not be okay at times. Understand that you are perfect in a flawed world. I get you more than you may realise now, because in you I see glimpses of the child I once were, and reflections of the adult I am today. I get you, I love you.
PS, here’s that song we listened to, just for you.