“I don’t want him or anyone else to view him as disabled or dysfunctional because he’s not.
All that I am, or hope to be I owe to my mother. But, I also owe to my sister.
My sister Avi is my only sibling. It’s just us two! I remember the day she told me she was expecting. I cried (like I do with everything), and I told her I couldn’t wait to be an aunt! Little did we know about the cheese puff, dinosaur loving bundle of joy that would soon be heading our way.
Since the day she knew she would be a mother, the love my sister has for her son grew fonder by the day. Even when the day came that she began to notice things about her child. She promised to be his protector, his voice, and most importantly the most loving mother to God’s special gift: her baby boy.
A Mother’s Love | My Son is Autistic and I am His Voice
Did you know what Autism was before Xahir was diagnosed?
– I had heard of autism, but never knew in depth what it required of the parent, child or occupational therapist to overcome or better the diagnosis.
How old was he when you noticed he was different? What were you seeing?
– Xahir walked, crawled and rolled way before his time, but the language barrier with certain interactions wasn’t there. At times, he would respond to his name and other times he wouldn’t. One thing is for sure, he knew who his family was but something triggered within me when other children his age were pointing out colors, making animal noises and putting two and two together.
What does most of his actions/behavior consist of?
– He loves anything that spins, propellers, wheels, dinosaurs and he loves to wave his hands in front of his face. I’m not sure what “that” means to him, but he thoroughly enjoys it. He is very loving, goofy and energetic but doesn’t like for certain routines you’ve changed.
What are his strengths?
– Anything he sets his mind to, he will do. If I look and say “you can’t stack that, it won’t work,” he proves me wrong every time. He’s amazing.
What are his weaknesses?
– Verbal communication.
How is he on his worst days?
– I don’t think he has bad days, I just think he has such high expectations for the way he wants things to be or go, so when they don’t – he throws a fit…like any child.
“He is the seed that God has planted in my life and I will nurture him…”
How is he on his best days?
– Loving, goofy, carefree and constantly building and construction his newest inventions.
How does he communicate with you?
– Usually, he will pull me in whatever direction it is that he wants me to go. It’s almost like sign language, but he communicates with sounds, small words and gestures.
What are his favorite things to do?
– Build and stack things, play with his dinosaurs, dance, watch his favorite movies and be outside…usually chasing lizards and birds.
In all honesty, has all of this been hard on you?
– It has, but I know he was gifted to me from God for reasons I cannot fathom. I know we have many more obstacles to overcome, but I know it’s all in due time. It could be worse; he could be high functioning and require medication to be “himself,” so when I feel like complaining, I just remind myself of that.
Has all of this made you more protective of your son? Why?
– For sure. Because I don’t want him or anyone else to view him as disabled or dysfunctional because he’s not. He just operates differently and that’s the biggest misconception with any diagnosis. Until he can speak and defend for himself, I am his voice and his guardian of protection.
What is something you want him to know?
– I want him to know that his parents love him, care for him and will always be there for him – even when he thinks he’s got it all under control. He is the seed that God has planted in my life and I will nurture him until he is fully flourished into the intelligent young man I know he is.
What’s your message to parents/caregivers just like you with children on the spectrum?
– To be aware and accepting – not ignorant and blind to the needs of your child(ren). The best thing to do is accept the differences, the help and the diagnosis so that your child is getting all the help he/she needs to be a functioning child; prepared for the real world. We cannot delete or change the diagnosis, but we can certainly make the best with what we have.
Here’s to my sister, my nephew and all of the families effected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. I love you to pieces!