On the Days I Feel Like I'm Not Enough for My Child With a Disability
Today is one of those days.
The days where my thoughts take over and tell me I’m just not doing enough. That my son isn’t doing well, and it’s because I haven’t given him what he needs.
It’s hard enough being a parent in this fast paced world of juggling the impossible, but parenting a child with autism comes with an entire set of expectations I am no where near mastering.
Today I’m asking myself if I’m making the right decision to send him to school.
Am I advocating enough?
Am I pushing him too hard to be part of a system that wasn’t made for him?
Am I disrupting his consistency by pulling him out of school for therapy?
Is the therapy helping?
Is he tired?
Does he need a break from it all?
And when your child is non-verbal, every decision you make on their behalf becomes a game of trial and error. I can’t ask him what he thinks, because he can’t let me know beyond the few basic requests he has in relation to food and some activities.
I long for the day where he is able to tell me what he did at school or can tell me how he feels. I would do anything to connect my brain to his so his brain could relay messages to me about how he sees the world.
And I see him trying. Trying to communicate with me.
And I interpret. I interpret his mood, his reluctance to get in the car, his smile when I’m putting on his boots. I see how happy he is when he skips into his therapy center and waves bye to me. I see how easily he enters the play yard at school and runs to the play structure, all while looking back to see me smiling at him. I see how thrilled he is when we get ready to take a drive in the car, as he flaps his hands and jumps for joy.
Then I’m calm again. Then I remind myself that even if I’m not enough in my mind, to my son, I am everything.
And even if he can’t tell me that things are going well, that he does let me know he loves me through his smile, hugs and kisses.
And maybe for today, that’s enough.