During our family vacation last week, I stayed back at the cabin instead of going kayaking. I missed out on fun times with my family because I was an idiot and tore a ligament in my foot. Besides that, I missed my middle son terribly. Why do I miss him? Because I decided not to bring him. I wanted my stepson (who traveled from another state) and my youngest son to be able to enjoy their father while on vacation without having to worry about their brother. Selfishly, I cannot relax at all when he is around either. Since we were visiting a new place and another family would be sharing our house with us, I was also concerned with the "unknown". Would he keep others awake? Would he hate the house? Would he be bored? Would having all the family together stress him out? You just never know with our children! I was suppose to have a different itinerary with my boy, I was planning on taking him on new adventures but because I was in a walking boot, I was limited.
This sucks, why does it have to be so complicated? I wish I would have done things so differently. I am always so concerned about making sure he is happy and not bothering others that I don't spend enough time preparing him for the real world. You see, he is loud at times, he scripts constantly, he gets so frustrated that he will aggressively meltdown and sleep.... he does not believe in that. So you see why I avoid certain situations, actually a lot of situations? It's just easier this way. Why do I do this? Why do so many do this? He has a right to do what everyone else does and if he screams through it, others just have to accept it. Problem is, I just can't let that happen.
I am a people person and pleaser. I don't want anyone to ever feel bothered by my son. I don't want anyone to ever think that he is some kind of "out of control" child that we as parents just let him do whatever he wants. I also don't want attention drawn to me or my family. Let's face it, it's just easier to avoid these situations and everyone is happy. But this is NOT the right thing to do. Should I just avoid every situation because it's the "easiest" thing to do? Is this in all of our best interest?
The answer is NO and I wish I had more guidance when my son was younger. I should have put him in a plane, I should have taken him on all our vacations, I should take him to all dinners, I should have put him in sports, I should have taken him EVERYWHERE!!!!! We did have a terrible experience once on a beach vacation when he was about 6 years old. We were at the hotel pool and this ugly person made a comment to me that Autism was just an excuse for my son's behavior and he was tired of hearing this! Now if you know me, you would expect me to be writing right now that I lost my mind on this individual. I actually froze up because I was in shock and my nephew stepped in. This ruined me. I fight and advocate everyday of my life for so many children yet for my own, this experience has taken a part of that away. Awareness is much greater 9 years later yet we still hear things happening all the time.
Although he is so happy being home, he loves his caretakers and our family. I am truly blessed but it sucks when my youngest is effected by him not being with us. If I can change one thing..... I would go back to the day when we learned of his diagnosis and I would have not changed a thing. I would have ignored what that ugly person told me at the pool and perhaps we would have done things differently. All I can do now is move on and work towards more integration, work towards equality, work towards teaching society acceptance and awareness. Don't judge as when you look at a picture of my son, you don't see Autism. You see a young handsome man who happens to have Autism.
Our new journey with all this is that he will be attending a new school this fall at our traditional neighborhood school. Although I am scared out of my mind (it's 1:30am right now and I can't sleep), this is what my son needs. I have to try it, we have to give it a chance and give him this opportunity. Wish us luck!