There is something about childhood and the ability to lose yourself in time just witnessing the poetry in the movements of an insect or the clouds. Those small things contain the entire world. I often ponder that as adults we may not be as close to our true selves… I love the way that a child can laugh, or cry easily over simple things, and get caught up with pondering just being.
When you add in the complexities of ‘fitting in’ and the expectations that can pressure us to abandon our truths… it can become even more difficult to keep that part of ourselves.
It is another good reminder to make sure that there is time to let my boy just be. Yes, we have goals and things we need to support H in learning – but we also need to honour who he is in the moment. We need to understand that when to an adult it may seem like he is doing very little… he may be keeping safe and nurturing that part of himself that gives him strength and brings him peace.
As a parent of a child who experiences the world differently, I think also about those in-between times, and stolen time, and the appreciation that comes with having lives structured so that those moments are so noticed, albeit sometimes rare. There are so many small things we are able to see and notice about the development of our children. Those hard-won gains which some might miss are huge!
Sometimes I think I have been gifted with the different pace of my son’s development: we have so many opportunities to guide, and interact, and respond… it is like we have had the chance to slow down time. I like this way of looking at things, because if we have the ability to pace our lives to the development of our children… the possibilities are so astoundingly rich for all of us…
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2012)
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