If Aiden didnt have autism, would I be concerned that he didnt have a lot of friends? probably. Thats mostly because I always had friends, myself. I was a chameleon and could buddy up with any clique, growing up.
If Aiden didnt have autism, would I be concerned that he seemed angsty? no, Id chalk it up to 12.
If Aiden didnt have autism, would I be concerned that he wanted to hang around me allllll of the time? no, Id be elated (but also aware that we needed some space so he didnt turn into Norman Bates).
If Aiden didnt have autism, would i *really* give a lot of thought to his want to sleep on the couch rather than his room? No, Phoenix once wanted to sleep in the laundry room when he was nearing 12, himself.
If Aiden didnt have autism, would I worry at night whether or not he will ever be kissed, have an intimate relationship, get married, love? At 12?! NO!!
If Aiden didnt have autism, would I worry about him living with us as an adult? Not as much. As Chase has pointed out, I always tell Phoenix that he shouldnt (and doesnt) need to rush out and move away right after graduation.
Sometimes, we, as parents, have to be careful not to overthink What is Typical vs What is Autism. Don’t get me wrong, throwing autism into the mix is a definite game changer, but I try to consciously check myself when I start spiraling (and I do spiral. a lot.).
Chase has social anxiety, just like Aiden.
I *loathe* Walmart because the whole experience makes me a crazy, tense wreck sometimes more so than Aiden.
Phoenix doesn’t like large crowds just like Aiden.
Lief can get overloaded at the drop of a hat, just like Aiden.
August wants to be right by my side, just like Aiden.
None of us have autism like Aiden.
You know what Aiden does that I can’t say we all do?
He loves 100%. no judgement, all love.
He gives 100%, 100% of the time.
He tries harder than many others, even through tears and frustration. day in. day out.
He openly will convey his feelings, because he does not care if you are offended at his frustration with you.
He will battle cry scream in anger the way you secretly yearn to in an irritating moment.
He forgives and forgets.
He has “weird” passions unapologetically.
I have so many posts sitting in my head that are not about autism, because i promise, not all of them will be, but I cant stop thinking about this. It’s perspective. It’s angling askew just a little bit. During all of those hard days, I try to remember this, and reassure my Self that it’s all going to be okay. No matter what, we will all be okay.