Learning All Over Again

It’s really quite strange, but I knew that my youngest son E, didn’t have autism from the moment he was born!

He looked at me, that’s it. No sixth sense or anything, he just looked at me. As the weeks and months progressed, it was obvious he didn’t have autism, and it was a completely new concept for me to get my head around!

It still amazes me today at the things that my youngest does, things that most parents take for granted. I never took anything for granted with S, and things that children learn automatically, from copying/imitating/instinct, never happened, so I had to teach him. I never realised this until I had my youngest, who learned things on his own, then I realised that S didn’t have that ability. (he was my first child so I didn’t know any different)
S rarely looked at me as a baby/toddler, and when he was older he used to take me by the hand if he wanted something, I was a tool that he could use to obtain things, and then when he got what he needed, I was no longer necessary.

Sounds harsh I know, but that’s how it was. There was no emotional attachment, unlike my youngest who looked at me, wanted cuddles, wanted to be with me and wanted to get things for himself, and would only resort to asking me to help him if he couldn’t do It!

Even now my youngest wants me to sit with him, do things with him and It took a lot of getting used too! I was used to a child that wanted to be left on his own, didn’t make a fuss, or the extreme was having to do strange things or drawing that used to last all day because he would do the same thing over and over again, tantrums because he didn’t understand, it was extremes, one or the other, no in between.
I was also used to a child that couldn’t speak until around the age of 4, that didn’t ask questions, that wasn’t interested in going outside to play, or interested in the world around him.

I didn’t realise what I, or S to be honest, had missed out on in the early years. My youngest is always playing with toys, pretend playing, cuddling me (that was a new concept for me!) asking questions, trying to write, trying to read…the list is endless.

Having my first child with autism, then one without autism has been difficult, its taken a long time to adjust to the differences and its been a steep learning curve because I didn’t know what a child without autism did! I still ask my friends if E “should be doing this” because I don’t know.
In a way, it’s like having a first child and knowing nothing and learning to be a parent all over again.

onewithonewithout on Twitter
Onewithonewithout
Im a full time single mum of 2 boys. My eldest son is 9 and has autism, my 4 year old does'nt! im studying creative writing with the ou, and i'm a sci fi geek...sorry!
Onewithonewithout

onewithonewithout

Im a full time single mum of 2 boys. My eldest son is 9 and has autism, my 4 year old does'nt! im studying creative writing with the ou, and i'm a sci fi geek...sorry!

10 thoughts on “Learning All Over Again

  • June 20, 2009 at 3:44 am
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    @Tanya@revelife – It’s otay. I think it made me stronger. I have a job now, I live on my own and I pay my own way. I think that messed up relationship I had with my parents and them not understanding me has made me strive to be a stronger person. And even though they sucked back then, I have a better relationship with them now….now that I don’t live with them lolz

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  • June 19, 2009 at 8:17 am
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    @LibranPoetess@xanga – I’m sorry  🙁

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  • June 18, 2009 at 2:22 pm
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    @Tanya@revelife – I understand that entirely. In my case, my parents knew I was different, and then treated me different because I was different. Which sucked. My friend, who I spend a lot of time with, as well as her two kids), treats both her kids the same and her son is a very affectionate kid. He is also quite a character, but I could do without him climbing all over me, lol. Anyhow, I know some parents try really hard and some parents just don’t care to try hard enough. Perhaps I was just applying the situation to my own personal experience. I get muddled with my thought and I’m not always concise with what I mean. Sorry about that.

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  • June 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm
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    @LibranPoetess@xanga – My comment may have crossed the line, and I apologize for that, but parents of autisic children are constantly shouldering the blame and I think it is unfair to say any aspect of autism is due to parents not trying hard enough.

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  • June 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm
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    @Tanya@revelife – As an autistic person, I do think I know something about autism. I see how my parents treated me when I was growing up versus how my friend treats her kids and I sometimes wonder. It wasn’t meant to be seen as an insult or a slap in the face so sorry if that’s how you read it. Autism, in my opinion, is something you are born with but in some cases it depends on the parent as to whether or not they are going to be social or withdrawn. Calm down, not trying to attack you, just an opinion.

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  • June 17, 2009 at 5:13 pm
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    LOL, there isn’t enough of an age gap between my kids to have to re-learn anything…

    Josh is 14 months older than Kailey who is 19 months older than Julie. Josh was still in diapers when Julie was born… Josh and Kailey are almost like twins. They act the same age. They started talking at the same time. The only real difference between them and twins was that Josh had just started walking when Kailey was born. Once Kailey got mobile though, she quickly caught up to and passed Josh. She learned to skip at three and a half… Josh didn’t learn until he was eight.

    Having my mom around was a huge help. She had her degree in early childhood development and had spent 20+ years working at daycare centers and in Children’s Ministry at church. So, when Josh wasn’t doing some things he should have been doing and was doing some other things that were extremely advanced for his age… we knew something was up. But we also had Kailey right there to watch as well. Julie is the “oddball” out of the mix. She is the most “normal” of the three, doing things more or less exactly on time… or learning them a little early because her sister or brother taught her to do them.

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  • June 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm
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    Our only child is Autistic.  I thought about the “what if” the next one didn’t have the same challenges, and what to do.  Maybe I’d have to re-learn everything.

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  • June 17, 2009 at 2:29 pm
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    My friend has an autistic son. He gives kisses and he cuddles. Sure it happens in spurts but it still happens. Maybe the parents need to try more. I dunno…

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  • June 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm
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    I think it would have been harder if you found out the other way around–having a non-autistic child first, then the autistic child.

    If you had a non-autistic child first, you would have been used to all the affection and communication, I suppose it would hurt more to later have a child that does not want to share that affection.  It’s easier to learn things than to unlearn things, you know?

    God be with you and help you every step of the way.

    Martha

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