That Autism. My God, there are just some days, I can't get past what it has robbed my children of. It's robbed them of being caring. It's robbed them of compassion, it's robbed them of empathy, it's robbed them of being a part of community, because autism makes them self-centered. To other children neuro typical children this makes them look like jerks and not good friends, so the isolation continues. We have been in social skills for years, and they have come a long long way from where they were, and I do not forget that. But there is an element missing, and it's caring.
My 9 year old, loves to be around people, loves to be the center of attention. But that's just it, he wants to be the center and if you're not catering to him and his obsession, the amount of poops he could give about what your kid or you have to say is zero. Well that's not relationship building, and kids don't like it. Even other kids with autism don't like that, because the want to be the center of their own universe too, AND I GET IT.
I don't know how to teach that. I can teach potty training to an 11 year old, I can feed a kid who will only eat 2 things, I can calm a tantrum down, I can not go to the bathroom for 2 hours because I'm trying to teach my son not to bang his head on the wall, I can teach him how to put on socks and shoes, I can teach him how to catch a ball, I can teach him math, I can teach him to ride a bike, flip on a trampoline, swim, body surf, I can teach him so many things, but I can't teach him how to care - care about himself, me, his friends, his life. The indifference is infuriating and frustrating, and confusing and my heart breaks for them. Because you see as they grow up, their typical peers don't like that crap, they want to feel like they are valued in a relationship, and THEY SHOULD BE.
I guess I'm asking, because I don't know how to do it. I'm not the perfect mom, I am an autism mom, and I like most of us in Autismville, have had to learn how to be a teacher, lawyer, cook, scientist, OT, PT, Speech Pathologist, Psychologist, Mario Kart Master, Ipad Repair extraordinaire, but I don't know how to teach him to care. Yeah we can do that ABA train him like a dog, to ask 2 or 3 exchanges of questions, but when we aren't there to prompt the shit out of that, what happens? Those are the questions that keep me up all night.
How do I...........(FILL IN THE BLANK)? How do I make him care? What am I missing? Am I the Only One? What Actually Happens When I'm Not There?
My heart hurt all day today, and I think that's why.
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