In honour of World Autism Awareness Day (2 April) and Autism Awareness Month (April), I thought I would list just a few of the things I love about having an autistic son (beyond, of course, the fact that I adore Ben and everything about him).
Like many autistic people, he hates loud noises. I offered him a drum kit for his last birthday and he said he’d prefer not to have one. We have a quiet home.
Autistic people are rarely fashion victims or conformists. Ben never nags me to buy him the latest clothes, toys or computer craze.
He has some funny and weird ideas at times. It keeps life interesting! I think this might be true of lots of other autistic people too.
He has a fantastic memory (again, it often goes with the condition). I never have to remember addresses or family birthdays anymore.
He is honest. Yes, he’ll sometimes say what he thinks people want to hear in order to please them, but he is basically truthful. I have heard many other parents of autistic children say the same thing.
He is affectionate, considerate and forgiving, including when I get things wrong. People don’t think autistic children (or adults) are affectionate and loving, but many are. Ben certainly is. He is also considerate when he has the information about others that allow him to know how to help and support them. When I was stressed the other day, Ben picked this up and said, ‘come on, mum, give me a hug’. And I felt much better!
Happy World Autism Awareness Day!