Yesterday was a hard day. M's first day of pre school. It went almost exactly as well as I feared. I walked in with cautious optimism and left with a purse full of snotty kleenex.
Let me preface this post by saying two things. First, I love and deeply appreciate ALL my people. regardless of whether you are a close personal friend or simply a facebook acquaintance, your support of my family through words, actions or thoughts is immeasurable and something that truly helps me get through a lot of my days.
Second, it's important to note that EVERY human with ASD is different (in so many ways) than every other human with ASD. period. It is simply impossible to characterize or compare one ASD experience with another. Just as it is impossible to compare a typical experience with an ASD experience.
And so, having prefaced that, I need to talk about our reality again. OUR specific ASD reality. I know I have talked about Mylo being non-verbal in other posts and the difficulties navigating that world. What I now realize I haven't really talked about in my blog or to many people who actually know us, is M's inability to understand what we are saying. I say inability, but I don't know that to be true. perhaps he does understand us, but is so far ensconced in his own world that our words don't register. Whatever the case may be, we can talk and request and discuss until we are blue in the face and he does not hear or respond to us in any way.
What do I mean exactly? If I ask Mylo simple everyday questions like, where is mommy? Or can you please bring me your shoes? Or where ARE your shoes for that matter......he doesn't respond, he doesn't pay any attention to us at all. He never has and that doesn't appear to be changing. For example, I have no idea if Mylo knows what or where his hands are, if he knows what a cat is, or what or where his daddy is. Can you imagine for a moment how difficult it is to have a child who can not communicate with his voice but also has no real receptive language abilities?
How do I make him understand that pre school is not a punishment, that he doesn't need to scream and bite and try to escape? For now, the answer is, I can't. I can only hope you are all right in saying it will get better with time. But, and here's kind of the main point of my post, please do me a favour friends, in trying to make us feel better about days like this, try your best not to compare, normalize or minimalize our experience(s), it just makes our reality that little bit harder. Spoken with gratitude and only love.