Wow, that is a question that could be aimed at a lot of people for a whole lot of different reasons.
Do people understand fully what parents with special needs kids go through?…..NO
Do we as parents fully understand what our special needs kids go through?…. NO
Do our autistic children fully understand the world around them?…..who knows, we as parents wait in anticipation to find out!
How amazing would it be for us all to finally understand????
You might wonder what prompted my question! “Do you understand” – As a parent of a child, who for the first five years of his life was completely mute, I often found it difficult to understand the tantrums, the tears, the screaming, what my child was actually trying to communicate by his screams, his tears, his groanings, his ‘tantrums’.
I often felt as though I fell short of being a mother because I did not always understand. How could any mother not understand what was causing their own child to get so upset? ….she surely couldn’t be a good mom! I am sure a lot of moms out there are feeling this very feeling right now…..and…..you are wrong! Sometimes you just CANT understand because you just don’t know how this autistic child is feeling and that does not make you a bad mother.
Jordan had many tantrums growing up before he was able to verbally communicate with me. All I can say, is thankfully we made it through…….there were quite a few times I wished the ground had swallowed us both up!!…especially when other people stared in shopping centres, restaurants etc!
There were also many meltdowns and some of them I still cannot fathom why (but watch this space)…..
What prompted this post was I clearly remember Jordan having a meltdown screaming, crying, running to his bedroom, hiding his face, holding his ears when we would try and watch a program on the Discovery Channel (DSTV channel 260, I think it was). We as a family could not understand why and as much as we tried, could not figure it out. He loved animals but whenever we would try to watch a program about animals he would absolutely loose it. He just needed to hear the music and the meltdown would begin.
Eventually, because I couldn’t handle the stress that it caused my child and I couldn’t handle the stress of being a bad mother who could not work out what the issue was Discovery Channel was banned from the watching list whilst Jordan was awake.
Then miraculously this year, I finally got to understand what the whole issue was about……….
Whilst channel hopping Discovery channel came on and suddenly I remembered (I mean, how could I forget 🙂 ). So I broached the subject. I asked Jordan the following: “Jordan mommy remembers when you were younger and not talking yet, that we couldn’t watch this channel, you would get too upset, do you know why you would get so upset? and to my total amazement he said “Oh yes, I remember….Discovery channel used to have a opening credit (as he calls it) where the pictures used to flash fast, I didn’t like that, it freaked me out!” and there I had an answer to something I just could not understand. The flashing imagery obviously affected him and he could not deal with it. He then, bless his heart, added, “But we can watch Discovery channel now because they have changed the opening credits they don’t have that one anymore” 🙂 .
I am loving that Jordan can now answer some of my many questions I have had from the past. And my hope for every mom, dad or sibling is that their questions may be answered one day – it somehow alleviates the feeling of inadequacy 🙂 .
I am so very lucky that my child has developed an amazing little character and has made the progress that he has, so that he is not only able to teach me about our past together, but he is able to teach me about the present and the future. Many of us DONT get what other people are feeling, what other people are going through, or what other people are trying to achieve and it is up to all of us, no matter how difficult, to try and understand – whatever the circumstances…. – well thats my 2cents anyway. xxxx