Autism – The Unsung Hero

One of the things I’ve come to realise over the last few years is how special our now 11 year old daughter actually is and how AMAZING she’s been throughout the whole process.  Imagine, she was our first born child, the focus of all our attention then one day we bring home this loud, demanding and exhausting baby who is consuming every ounce of my time..  time I used to spend with her.

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Okay, all kids deal with that but what all kids don’t deal with is what was to come.

So as he got older I would’ve expected things to start getting easier, which of course we all know didn’t happen.  There was the daily struggles of screaming, tantrums and sometimes vicious attacks from Zac which were often directed at me but sometimes directed at her.

Then there was Bali…  yikes…  what I didn’t say about that trip was how incredible she was.  At 5 years old she sat on the plane like a lone traveller with her colouring and books, quietly amusing herself as my husband and I wrestled our son at the back of the plane.

She approached each day with a maturity beyond her years and consoled us at times when we were inconsolable and made us feel like things were going to be okay..  she was 5 remember..

When we started ABA the only way she found that she could spend time with me was to sit and patiently fill out the forms which were a requirement of the research program we were a part of.  Every time I sat down to do Zac’s therapy with him she sat next to me quietly ticking, crossing and completing each sheet…  she was 6 at this stage…

She’d hungrily participate in imaginative play, turn taking and anything else she could to engage with him and myself and when things went bad (which they quite often did) she sat there quietly waiting for it to settle, never trying to shift the attention to herself, never competing for my attention, just knowing how hard this was but more importantly how essential it was in Zac’s development..  remember she was only 6…

As she’s gotten older she’s become more and more patient, playing with him, making up games, laughing, wrestling, fighting, sharing, supporting, hugging and caring for him.  She’ll tie his shoes, make him breakfast, play board games, jump on the trampoline and defend him fiercely…

Through this time she’s complained on occasions, wished she didn’t have a brother yet still protected and cared for him.

She’s shown a maturity beyond her young years and hasn’t asked for anything…

I thank god everyday she was our first born and more importantly that our first born was a child like her..  you can’t teach someone the compassion, kindness and maturity she has shown throughout this entire process..  you just have it and she DEFINITELY has it and we couldn’t be more proud.

We all have our own situations we’re dealing with but sometimes it’s good to take the focus off the obvious and appreciate the not so obvious…

Until next time, stay calm and stay healthy

Sonia

xx

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