Every once in a while, an article is published that really gets me thinking, discussing, debating and ruminating on (and sometimes fuming about). Last week, we were informed that ‘Super Parents’ can improve the lives of their autistic children… “WHAT”, I hear you cry, “Parenting can actually make a difference?”.  “Parents of autistic children are actually the key to the future of their own child?”. WOW, I would never have guessed that…

I think there are a couple of hundred thousand parents who could have told you that. Parent who go above and beyond to understand the needs of their autistic child, battle with waiting lists, facing a lack of understanding, belief & support. These parents have largely done it on their own, done it the hard way, left no stone unturned, found solutions, created learning techniques, adapted, morphed & lovingly devoted themselves to ensuring their child is happy, healthy, successful, valued & loved. ‘Super Parents’ already exist, quietly ensuring that their child is afforded all the opportunities and support they need, that they grow up to be included and that their skills and strengths are celebrated, not dismissed.

These ‘parents’ (because the term ‘Super Parent’ is rather patronising – don’t you think?) pre-empt, pre-plan, discuss and strategise on an hour by hour basis interpreting the world, calming the anxiety and ensuring it is all done with love & understanding. As an example, I went to London for a fabulous few days with my little aspie and the preparation for the train journey consisted of: showing photos of what the train station & train may look like, showing her the ticket so she could memorise the seat number, phoning up and finding out the food on offer, discussing how we would get to the station, drawing what we may see, discussing the noises that we may hear, imagining the smells we may encounter, looking through my material box to try and guess the material the seats are made of, investigating what stations we are stopping it, working out the speed we may go at, thinking about what the guard/driver may looks like (this involved re-inacting several hilarious drama pieces based on these characters that she made up), laughing about what the other passengers may look like, finalising what films we should download, agreeing what books to take, reminding her of the breathing techniques when the nerves got a little too much, deep pressure hugs when we waiting on the platform and a calm tone of voice throughout. And that was just to get on the train…

Does that make me a ‘Super Parent’, nope, I am a parent and my daughter is my daughter, I parent her in the way that suits her needs and wants like many, many parents of ASD children do. Do we need a medal, do we need a pat on the back? Nope. The reward we get, like the reward every parent gets, is seeing their child thrive.

My rewards was on the return journey when waiting at Kings Cross, watching the departures board, my daughter said to herself, ‘deep breath in, deep breath out, I’m going to be fine’.

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One thought on “Super Parents?

  • April 6, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    ‘deep breath in, deep breath out, I’m going to be fine’ – Wow, that is such a simplistic, yet powerful mantra to adopt. I must encourage my two to also adopt this, thank you 🙂

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