About Autism, Bees, and Honey.
When my son Tato was born, the world stopped. It was a feeling like no other experienced before. Motherhood initiation, some may call it. Little I knew it would take me a few years to get my world back on spinning. You see, when your child is born Autistic, it takes time to realize it, process it, accept it, embrace it and move forward to Inclusion. Sadly, many parents will stay trapped in one of those stages, some even forever. It’s certainly not their fault, but a sum of false constructs, weird misconceptions, social stigma and wrong expectations; usually taking away the opportunity of Autistic people to be included as equal. Like bees, they will be misunderstood; people around will fear them, their nature will make others uncomfortable. All throughout their lifetime, they will get shooed away, constantly.
As days became months, I started noticing some differences about how I thought a baby would do or react in certain situations, but, I was also a first-time mom, so it took me little less than three years to start adding the pieces together. Now that I think of it, I realize that my husband and I were both in denial. But, being a Psychologist myself, I got called out by a group of colleagues who manage to snap me out of it. We finally realized our time in Mexico had come to an end, and moved back to the States in 2012, seeking a better life for him. Mexico has still some growth to do in social issues like Inclusion and Acceptance, for example. That didn’t stop this busy bee from creating a Non-Profit back there, that would help parents like Myself understand terms like Neurodiversity, Autism and the Diagnosis in its early stage; to deal with grief, and help parents lean closer to Acceptance and Embracement. I offered my services in Ensenada for free, during the period between 2014-2017. I did presentations, conferences, workshops and one on one counseling; drove 2 hours down the border and then two hours back, every time I was needed. At the time, I thought I was contributing on reaching a day where every person with Autism in Mexico, would get accepted and included in the great hive that is Society.
But now, after some years, I've learned and it is my firm belief, that all of the above should start with the own family dynamic. No matter where you are is about what you do and how you shape the ground with your example. So, I took a break from what I thought was saving the world, and started listening to my own son's buzz, beyond human words. In the past year, I've come to reduce the overscheduled routines, to replace quantity with quality. I have embarked in new horizons by switching Therapy Approaches. Opening my understanding by attending multiple Autism Acceptance Conferences. Giving him a genuine chane in communication by getting him an AAC, and finally, giving him a voice by introducing terms like Self-Advocacy. I'm still learning to be a better version of myself for both of my kids. But, for now, I'm slowing down, taking my time to enjoy the journey, and making some sweet loving honey while doing so!
So far, it has been a thrilling ride. If you think of Life as an exciting journey, each one of us has had its ups and downs. Like every single bee, a day will come when your wings won't lift you the way you need them. You'll get tired and will require a break. Autism is the set of wings my son was given. And as I usually tell parents, it has never been about us and it should never be. We are merely companions in someone else's travels. The one thing I can do, as a mother, is to ensure that in the time being, my little bee learns what he needs to learn, to succeed in the journey ahead of him, when ge gets to fly by himself. A second thing, of course, is his favorite Breakfast, same I do every Saturday, no exceptions. My hope is that once in a while, you'll remember to stop and smell the flowers, taste the honey... and enjoy life, in the same fantastic, unusual, transparent, unfiltered way he enjoys his!
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