Being a parent of a child with autism is even more challenging. At least this is how I feel.
The challenge of having an autistic child is sometimes a big problem in the family so it must be addressed wisely. The goal, of course, is not to cause division. However, rest assured we are the chosen people who are trusted by God to keep His mandate.
Because it could be through problems or trials that God wants to test a person’s faith and fortitude. Here I want to share my experience of how I accepted the fact of having an autistic child
1. Find a support system that can hear much needed when having a child with autism.
Since knowing our children are different, to be honest as parents, I was really down. Moreover, my biological mother felt guilty. Luckily I have a husband who often listens to my complaints. We also do not hide the condition of the children to their grandmothers, grandfathers, relatives and neighbors. As we grow older, our children will definitely look different from their peers.
Indeed, when we told them, especially grandma and grandpa, they were shocked and couldn’t believe what had happened to their grandchildren. However, as time went on, they finally understood and encouraged us to always be grateful and never give up on the situation.
Likewise with neighbors around the house, at first a neighbor asked her husband what happened to our daughter who was crying every night at that time. Husbands also tell in sentences that are easy for them to understand.
Our daughter is seven years old, they are very careful when asking about our first daughter. Luckily, the younger brother easily adapts to anyone, which often creates a warm atmosphere.
2. Avoid toxic people.
I once met a person who really made me ‘fall’ with a child’s condition. And it happened in a therapy center for autistic children. Judging others may be easier than judging yourself.
It was the first time we met but he already judged that I was the wrong parent, too late to handle our daughter who was then four years old. Honestly, I was so devastated even though we hadn’t shared the experience of bringing our children to several therapy centers.
Reflecting on that experience, my husband and I are trying to learn not to judge others (no judging), and to avoid friendships that make us feel ‘down’.
3. Having an autistic child, begins to learn to accept and always think positively.
Don’t compare your child to other children. It is true that children’s conditions are different, but avoid negative thoughts. Believe that behind his shortcomings, the child I gave birth to has other advantages that may not be seen at this time, including not comparing with his own sister.
When our son was three years old and began to show symptoms of autism, to be honest I often compared with his peers. In fact, it often makes me stressed and frustrated. Slowly I am sincere, learning to be grateful for the grace given by God because not all women have the opportunity to have children.
As the years passed, I sincerely spent my days with him, teaching him whatever he could, of course, I had a specific target to catch up.
Miraculously, when my daughter was five years old and was already starting to speak properly, the verbal lessons I gave stuck in her memory. Reading the letters of the Qur’an, daily prayers and children’s songs, he memorized all.
4. Effort and surrender to God.
It is undeniable, several times I have argued about our first daughter. When I first found out that he had autism, I often blamed myself, why was it that I was entrusted with an autistic child? I often ask my husband the reason why autism appears.
Is it because of genetics or the drugs I took when I was pregnant?
However, husbands often answer wisely. Trying to get me closer to God. No need to blame yourself, Remember that Allah tests His servants according to their abilities. God entrusted a special child means we are able to take care of him.
We as believers must always pray, surrender to God in addition to always trying, trying our best for the growth and development of our daughter. What is the next treatment and how to provide the best we can as parents, for example through therapy and dietary arrangements that are currently being undertaken.
Having an autistic child does have to face bigger challenges. Keep it up, yes, great parents.