My son has the ability to do whatever he sets his mind to do. I believe that we all do. Only with him, there’s a lot more pushing than there is success. For 16 years I’ve been trying to help him with his speech, not only at home but also through therapists at school, social groups and by enlisting the help of his peers.
Unfortunately, it all seems like an uphill battle most of the time. His little bouts of improvement last a day, two at most, before we find ourselves back at square one. But we don’t give up, or at least I don’t. Although he says that he wants to get better, I’m positive that he’d love nothing more than to throw in the towel and call it quits.
I’d probably let him do it too, if I believed that he was lacking the ability. But, I’ve heard him speak and he talks to me, so I know that he can. So what stops him from talking to others or from trying to improve? He says, “fear of not knowing what to say,” but even when I give him the words he still chooses the silent route.
It’s frustrating because I know that the ability is within him. I’m just at a loss of how to pull it out.
Go ask the professionals…
We’ve done that. His teachers, who I’ve pleaded with to push him, are seemingly settled on the idea of, “Some people with Autism are just quiet and will always struggle with speech and there’s really nothing you can do about it.” So instead of pushing him toward success, they’re letting him stay right where he’s at.
Therapists aren’t much better. After weeks of after school group therapy sessions, I’m told “I suggest that you find activities that he could do with a friend where the language expectation will be less.”
When my son was a toddler, the professionals told me that he would never speak, write or read, and that one day he would be placed into a group home for those with disabilities. They were wrong. He does speak (not well, but he does), he reads and he writes.
So now, again, all of these professionals are telling me, “That’s just the way he is,” and I refuse to believe them. It seems to me that it’s easier for them to just let these kids ‘waste away’ than it is for them to truly help them.
It wasn’t too many years ago, when people with disabilities were getting placed into mental hospitals left and right. That was what was expected. Improvement? Impossible. Just hide them from the world and let them live out their life behind closed doors.
Although this is happening less frequently, I feel that in some ways we’ve not come as far as we think. If we have, then why are all of these professionals practically telling me to give up?
“He’s just quiet” – he is. They’re right. But, he has dreams and goals for his future, that with communication, he could achieve a whole lot easier. I just want my son to have all that his heart desires.
What I don’t want is for his entire life to be summed up by what he’s done within the four walls of a house. He deserves a good and fulfilling life just like the rest of us and it is my mission to help him obtain that…regardless of what the professionals say.