Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Steps

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When your child is typically developing, you see progress in steps.  Your little one moves incrementally forward, passing the developmental milestones.  And while there might be a couple of steps backwards at stressful times, and jumps forward at others, usually you can count on a steady pace in the right direction.

For spectrummy kids, this isn’t usually the case.  When we think of autism, we think of the monster that is Regression.  Regression doesn’t push your child down a step or two.  Regression clings on to your little one and pulls so hard that somehow you are 18 or 19 steps backwards.  As a parent you can only watch in horror.  You can’t fight this monster.  And all the hard work your baby has put in, so, so much harder for her than others, is gone.  You think about what a waste of time and effort all those occupational therapy and speech therapy sessions were.  You hate that life has to be so much harder for her.

Then there is Progress.  She is a visitor who never overstays her welcome.  A sprite you try to capture, who flies away before you can grab hold.  But somehow that sprite has left a magical gift.  And it is never a step forward, but a leap.  And you can’t fathom how that leap happened, but you don’t think about it too much.  You just delight, and tell everyone.  Everyone.  That was your kid who attracted the attention of the waiter (okay, manager, but who can tell the difference?) and requested another drink.  And you don’t care that her friend did that two years ago.  It is our Progress, don’t take it away from us.  She has to visit someone else, but she’ll be back.  We’ll be waiting, ready to move forward again.

When you see your friends, they’ll ask a deceptively simple question about how you are doing, and you always answer “fine”.  You have no idea how to put this into words.  There are highs and lows that other people never experience.  We are running our own race.  It is chaotic and challenging, exhilarating and exhausting.  We just put one foot in front of the other, because we know no other way to make those steps.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

July 24, 2010 at 7:35 am

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