My son is curious. He wants to know the ‘why’ behind everything. Why are there different kinds of clouds and why do negative numbers exist? His brain is firing away listening and learning about all that is going on around him. Pleasant sounds of birds chirping and people sweetly laughing. Harsh sounds of angry horns beeping and unkind words cutting.

Many times those negative words are aimed at him. “Why doesn’t he talk when I speak to him?” “Why does he make weird faces?” “You clearly know he is not smart, don’t kid yourself” “different is bad”. “I wish my son was normal” “his challenges are ruining my plans/life” “he has low cognition” “if only he could dress himself”. Things I have heard directed at my son or heard from other parents about their child. Our kiddos are listening!

How would you feel if your parents or loved ones directed any of those statements to you? What would your self-esteem be like?

Your childs wants YOU to be proud of him. Just like you he craves to love and be loved –here today just as he is not, for what he might become, but for the here and the now – DAILY to be loved and accepted as he blossoms into his full potential.

Can you open your eyes and see him? I’m not saying ignore his challenges, but I am saying see how precious he is, how smart he is, and how just like you he wants to be treasured, reassured of his worth and not proving his worth.

Autism is a tricky thing for parents to wrap their minds around. Often times we are selfishly focused on how we feel about our child’s challenges that we can’t even see our child; let alone love and accept them here today and from moment to moment. This is not your child’s inability to love, it is yours. Consider today: are your eyes open to the beauty and wonder of your child? If not, perhaps examine yourself and reprioritize.

Make a list of things you love about your child and tell them these things, whether or not they seem to “acknowledge” they heard. Let them know how valuable they are. That you treasure and love them!

We are all on a journey to be the best versions of ourselves, however our family and loved ones take that journey alongside us cheering us all the way. Cheer on your kiddo today and be mindful of the words you speak as they are always listening.

What we love about Filbert:

He is courageous, passionate, strong, hardworking, kind, sweet, dedicated, fun, confident, loving, patient, enough, intelligent, brother, son, grandson, compassionate. He is helpful and thoughtful. He loves his siblings and always takes time to be with me. Excitement floods over him when he learns new things, goes new places, and shares those with family and friends. He is outstanding at math and organized before we leave the house ensuring his sister has her water. He is wonderful today, tomorrow and always. I am privileged to be his momma and love each day that we get to spend together. 

(The attributes listed in the first sentence are on the wall in our living room to remind him of all his amazingness daily.)

Do you see your child?