Friday, October 17, 2008

A Real Boy...

At the moment, I'm reading "A Real Boy : How Autism Shattered Our Lives - And Made a Family From the Pieces", written by Christopher Stevens and Nicola Stevens, a story told by the real-life parents who have an autism kid. Wow, Chris n Nicky must've been a super Mom n Dad, for having thru such an experiences of raising a child like the one that we have.

Loving disabled children is so easy, but to live with them, such a hard thing. It is so true. I can imagine how it feels when Chris n Nicky could barely slept for eight months in the early stage, for their child, a special child named David, had a problem with a sleeping pattern, screamed almost all the time, day and night. We nearly had the same experience, but thank God, ours, it only took 2 months of sleepless nights. The first 2 months of his early life, Ammar would cried non stop all thru the nights, like from 11 p.m. until dawn, like 5 in the morning. Life was hectic and crazy at that moment of my life. The emotions ran unstable, I also cried sometimes, feeling so down and I told myself that I was a useless Mom, for not knowing what to do with a baby that had such a voice and making such a noise! Everybody would go panic when the clock ticked at 11 p.m. and, as expected, there he goes ..... And I do believe that Ammar also has a very 'active mind', that when he was a baby, I thought even if a feather dropped unto the floor, he would wake up with eyes widely open! He also ignored when anybody called for him (even if you use a loudspeaker), avoided eye contact and spoke only few words ( a very straight-forward pronunciation) and use a color code for the things that he wanted or when he tried to explain something to us. But when we sent him to the National Autistic Society, he started to progress and he also could cope with the lessons like writting, reading and some basic calculation. And the same goes when he's at the primary school (currently). Only that he still has some disturbing behavior.

As I read the lines : "we tried changing him and winding him, we tried leaving him to cry it out, we tried swaddling him, we tried begging him, we tried screaming back at him, we tried anything" - oh yeah, those lines sound so familiar to us, we've tried everything and every situation to suit him best, but, most of the time we failed. But comparing to this parents' experiences with us, I thought theirs were much worse. So, I respect their patience and hard times. Compared to David, Ammar is diagnosed with a mild autisme. And the teacher at school thought that he has ADHD. It's hard to tell. But I'm happy with his progress right now. I learn a lot thru this book. I can't wait to finish it up and 'discover' the strength and special thing that David must be good at - he must've has - after all, he's a special kid! To Chris and Nick, yeah, maybe you're right, I'm referring to the 1st para, page 28, as it goes :

"I'm contributing to the unhelpful myth that babies with special needs are always born into families of saints" - though I was widely smiling while reading these, but, I wanna believe!

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