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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's not easy, being him.

Raising a child with autism is no picnic. It's also no bowl of cherries, no walk in the park and no day in the sun. 

When my son was younger it was easier to make excuses. All those odd little things he did were 'cute' and when he threw a fit, it was okay because he was just a child. But now? Oh boy. Now he's a teenager. 

I used to imagine myself going to his soccer games, video taping him during award ceremonies and helping him catch grasshoppers in the woods. It was a punch in the kidneys when I learned that my son had no interest in sports, wasn't exactly an overachiever in school and is deathly afraid of bugs.....and nature in general....among many other things. 

But this is how things turned out. And even after coming to terms with all this and adapting to the fact that everyone is an individual and I simply need to cater to his needs rather than the worlds expectations, it just keeps getting harder.  

Now he's a teen. His hormones are going nuts, his school mates are mean, his work is too hard and he can't keep up with the butt load of responsibility that comes with being a teenager. He's upset. He's tired. He thinks everyone hates him and I'm starting to see why. People really are mean to him. And on top of that his own mom rags on him every day to do better. 

*sighs a sad breath*

In all honesty, I have no idea how to make him feel better. I tell him he's just misunderstanding the situation when he tells me an entire table of kids got up and switched tables when he came to join them at lunch. 

I tell him that the 'popular' kids in school usually end up being unsuccessful losers when they grow up, so he shouldn't want to be like them. 

I tell him that when kids call him a 'homo' in school it's only because they come from homes with bad parents and that they just don't know any better. 

I tell him he's overreacting,that kids are stupid and that it doesn't matter if girls don't like him because school work is more important. 

Meanwhile, he's crying in his room at night. He thinks his mother doesn't understand what he's going through and people (including grown ups) are being meaner than ever to him. And he's right. No one understands him. People think he's lazy when he doesn't want to go play outside, but he really just doesn't know how to play outside. People think he's stupid when he can't do a simple task, but what they don't realize is that multi step instructions are nearly impossible for him to do.

He's upset because people think he's just a tall 8 year old when they try to have a conversation with him and find that he doesn't really understand what they're talking about. But it's really just that his communication skills are far behind his age groups. 

The older he gets, the more complicated life gets for him. People have such high expectations for teens. When you have a teen with high functioning autism, it's not as clear to people that there's a problem. They just think he's dumb. I understand why he hates life. 

He hates being autistic.

Signed: One sad mom. 

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