By Kodey Toney
Between a rock and a hard place
I was reading an article lately that had a list of advice for parents and I thought I would share some of it with you and how it relates to our family.
"Your child will teach you more than you will teach them." These seems to be more true every day of my life. Whether it be patience, tolerance, acceptance, or how to be a better person, I learn something from him all the time. He has taught me more than any textbook or research.
“You have no idea how much potential you both have to exceed your expectations.” Looking back seven years ago I would have never thought I would have been where I am as a father or advocate, and I owe a huge amount of it to Konner. He continues to be my driving force. However, if I had listened to many experts, professionals, and other who were trying to give us advice on Konner he wouldn't be where he is today. We were told so many things that he was not supposed to be able to do, but we didn't listen and kept pushing him.
“You are not weak when you get angry and upset.” This is one I struggle with daily. I probably sound like a broken record to my regular readers, but I want so badly to be a good father that when I lose my temper and yell, or do things to make the situation worse I feel like I am failing as a dad. You have to understand that it's not easy to raise any child, but especially not one with sensory issues and I stand meltdowns. You will loose your cool, you just have to control yourself the best you can if you expect to control the situation.
“It’s a lot harder (living with autism) than it looks. It infiltrates every crevice of your life and affects every minute of every hour of every day. It’s right there when you wake up in the morning and doesn’t stop challenging you until bedtime (and doesn’t stop even then). Try as you may you will never get away from it. When you get alone time it will consume you. When you try to sleep it will overtake your brain, and when you think you have control it will prove you wrong every time.
“You and your child have nothing to be ashamed of.” You both are who you are. You can't change your child, so don't be ashamed. Embrace who they are, and even celebrate if you want to because they are awesome. Everyone else can just live with that.
These were just a few things that were discussed, but I feel they are very important to remember. You have so much to be happy about. Your child is special, different, quirky, funny, smart, and about a hundred different superlatives roled into one great little package.