A mother’s thoughts on Autism Awareness Day

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

I have not been able to put down my thoughts for a long time now. Don’t know why. Something always came up, or my thoughts were always muddled, or I was just being plain lazy. My daughter Devina is always encouraging me to write more and I keep on procrastinating. So anyway here I am trying to say things which I hope make sense.
Last month my son Karan celebrated his 16th birthday. He cut his birthday cake with his friends and teachers at his school and enjoyed himself. His teachers took photos of him cutting the cake, even smeared his face with cake and he did not get upset. As I watched my tall (he towers over me) and handsome son walk with me to the car, I realized how much he had progressed over the years. Of course there are still many more things to be achieved but we will get there soon.

Also, to digress a little, I realized suddenly after so many years that Karan would have been in the 10th grade if he had not been the special child that he is. I mean for all these years I have never really thought about this. And also even now I realized this just because my niece, Ananya, who is 4 months older to Karan, was having her 10th grade exams. And I was relieved I did not have to go through the tension I felt my sister-in-law Madhavi was going through because of her daughter’s exams. I don’t even know if I am right in feeling like this.

I think my chain of thoughts are still muddled. I was talking about Karan’s progress. We tend to celebrate every little thing that he achieves. I still remember how he used to scream when we would throw a ball to him. It is now a thing of the past: he loves to dribble the ball and throw it into the basket now.

He has mastered the concept of drinking with a straw after a long time. He just would not understand how to suck, something we just take for granted. So this was quite an achievement.

And the greatest achievement of all…He is toilet trained but was still wearing diapers at night as he still did not understand how to go to the toilet at night if he needed to. Then suddenly one fine day – I mean night – he suddenly figured out he just had to get up and go to the toilet if he needed to and that there was no need to wear a diaper. How we screamed in happiness. Now I am just waiting for him to achieve the next step of being able to clean himself. I am sure he will achieve this too.

He loves to paint and his brush strokes are getting better and better and he really looks forward to and enjoys his weekly outing to the START Workshops he attends. Also he enjoys beading and so likes to sit and make necklaces and bracelets. We have also introduced him to the iPad which I hope will improve his communication skills.
He likes to sit in the front seat of the car while going to and from school. He puts on his seatbelt as soon as he enters the car and then puts on the music. He does not like me talking on the phone so if it rings he puts his hand on my mouth, as if to say “No talking”. Very smart boy.

So on Autism Awareness Day, I ask you to educate yourself a little bit more on this enigma called autism…now that the latest figures are showing 1 in 88 children have it, it’s highly likely you will know someone who is autistic.

So go on, I’ve laid my thoughts bare for you…ask me anything you want to know. Perhaps with spreading knowledge, will I get acceptance for my smart son.

7 thoughts on “A mother’s thoughts on Autism Awareness Day

  1. Lovely post! Sometimes you don’t need to have something specific to write about, just write about everyday and that’s good.You’re completely fine to think you don’t need to worry about 10th Grade exams. They’re awful.Also, get Karan a dog. You keep ignoring me, but subliminally you know I’m right. GET HIM A DOG! Or a cat. Get a cat. Less maintenance.

  2. Really, really moving post. I think you’re a very strong lady for having given your son the opportunity to achieve all those things that we take for granted, but that are truly monumental steps forward when someone has autism. Mothers are already gifted with the strength of the world, but I think what you’ve done over the years – and I’m sure so selflessly – requires a level of courage and determination that few, even mothers, can have. I hope that everyday brings a new ray of hope and achievement into Karan’s and your life.And may more mothers with autistic children be blessed with the kind of courage, awareness, and love that you have.

  3. Excellent Post- very motivating for a lot of People I know and have already shared it with a few friends who are blessed with Special children – Just hope that more people share their thoughts openly

  4. I would like to thank all of you…Mali, Punit, Arva, Ish and Vimala for all your messages. When I read these sweet ,encouraging remarks I am motivated to do more for my son and it really makes me happy to know that there are people who truly understand and support parents of these very special children. Thank you all once again. Arva , you know at times I dont feel so strong and have a lot of self doubt but thanks for your kind words. Mali , No Dog yet…And I am not a cat person…If we do then it will definitely be a Dog…HAHA

  5. This is such a special post 🙂 I loved how you were able to convince your mom to write a post! Moms are just so busy that we, children, often forget to ask them how they are doing. If moms of (how is the politically correct way to say it?) special children are such superheroes, I can imagine your mom and other moms who are take care of extra special children like Karan. The positivity and seeing the special in the almost mundane things is an inspiration to mothers and non-mothers alike 🙂

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