I see this child Aman who is 7 year old. He has been diagnosed with the label “Autism”. He can speak and talk but does not use words for communication. He can sing songs and label things when asked but does not initiate communication. He will come and sit on my lap when I am around and express his love in the deepest of ways but will never greet me or even acknowledge my presence. He may say a bye if and only if he wishes to. I find him very amusing and lovely…
So, his mom narrated this incident to me today. Aman is toilet trained and communicates when he wants to go on most occasions. Yesterday, it seems he had a stomach upset. When mom was not around, he passed potty in his pant and he was completely in it from head to toe. The bedsheets and the mosquito net was also covered with it. When mom saw all this, she was furious. She somehow controlled herself and asked her help to clean him while she started cleaning the bedroom.
I see these moments as golden moments of parenting where the child like a teacher tests our patience. Whether we fail or pass this test, it is on us – how evolved we are as a parent. But it is only these little ones who can give us these “on the brink” moments. On the brink of erupting a volcano of anger but only an evolved person can stay on this brink without erupting the anger.
She was very angry for over 2 hours and did not talk to Aman. Then, when Aman came to her, she scolded him bitterly explaining to him that the behavior is not acceptable. Aman was really sad and then slept off in the afternoon. While he was sleeping, he again passed potty in his pant and was sad because mom would get angry again. His mom woke up him and washed him and tried giving him electral. Aman kept pushing his mom away and was very angry. She tried to hug him so that he will drink but all in vain. He was extremely angry with his mom. Aman’s mom realized that he was angry. She said “I am sorry for whatever that happened in the morning. And he looked into her eyes and said: “daanta” (you scolded me). She again apologized.
After she apologized, he was back to his normal happy carefree self and complied to all that she asked him to do. He will wait as long as she asks him to without getting irritable when he is “understood” and his feelings are acknowledged.
People say kids who have a diagnosis of Autism do not communicate and feel the emotions. But this is completely wrong. In fact, they feel and understand everything.
We just have to honor their feelings…
And if you see Aman playing with his tray puzzle and walking on his toes, not acknowledging or even noticing you or your presence, not greeting you……BUT he is feeling, receiving, absorbing and understanding everything!!!
When feelings are acknowledged and appreciated, they find a way to flow. It takes a whole lot of effort to go through these “on the brink” moments and maintain your calm and still give love and understanding. That is all that the heart of children yearns for..Aman needed interaction at a real deeper level which is beyond words….. so subtle yet so profound!!!