He's Happy

I've been thinking a lot lately about how different our lives are today than they were two years ago.

Things are happier now.  Easier.  In fact, I almost forget just how difficult it was two years ago.  Then something happens and I'm reminded of just how far we have come in this autism journey.

So what changed from then to now, you ask?

ABA.

If you've followed our story for any length of time, you'll know that I could go on and on about all the wonderful things that ABA has given to Colin and to our whole family.

I've been accused of being an "ableist."  An ableist is someone who thinks that people who have disabilities are somehow less than and need to be fixed.  I've also been accused of being a "martyr mom," meaning that Colin's autism is all about me, my feelings, and how I am affected by it. 

I don't think I'm either of those things, but because my son is in ABA, many think I'm trying to change him.  To make him fit a certain mold that society would want him to fit in...but that isn't true at all.

I just want to help him be the best he can be.  I want him to be happy...and you know what?  ABA has helped him be happy. 

If you had met Colin two years ago, you would have thought that he was an angry kid.  Always screaming.  Upset.  Crying...because he was frustrated.

Once he got his AAC device - and had a way to communicate - he changed.  He is the happiest kid (98% of the time...he's still human, after all!).  ABA has taught him how to learn, and he's so much happier for it.

So you see, I'm not trying to change him.  I'm not trying to make him someone he isn't.  I don't want him to be a different person.  I just want him to be happy. 

My husband and I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Temple Grandin speak this week.  We spoke with her for a minute about Colin.  She said, "If you're seeing progress, then you're doing the right thing."  She spoke about giving autistic people opportunities to do things.  Expose them to new things, let them try and do things for themselves.  You'll never what they're capable of until you try. 

Exposure and opportunity lead to growth.

And that's really all we want for our son.  We want him to have every chance to be successful in this life.  When you learn a bit differently, it takes more effort and time to learn, so dedication is needed.  And I don't mean just dedication from Colin - I mean from our whole family.  Because he needs us - and we have to do everything we can to help him. 

We aren't trying to change him to meet the world's standards, but we know that the world isn't going to change for him.  So we have to help him navigate this life.  We are so proud of him and are so very thankful for the happiness that we now see in him. 





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