A Child on the Autism Spectrum Interviews His Parents

Hi everybody, my name is Matt. After reading questions and answers to Mark Hutten, I was so sad to hear all the problems parents are having. I know I’m only 10 but I decided to interview my parents what they thought about my autism and how they helped me so that I could share with you:

Me: When did you first think I was different?

My parents: We noticed when you were about 3 years old, when you decided to stop eating.

Me: What did you do?

My parents: Well we went to the pediatrician who told us this was normal, and not to force you to eat, that you would eat when you decided to. Well that was a mistake still to this day you won’t touch a lot of foods.

Me: What did you think when the psychologist told you I had autism?

My parents: We were torn. We were happy in a way that we finally found out why you were acting differently, but sad thinking how can we help you?

Me: I don’t understand?

My parents: Every parent’s first impulse is thinking “what did I do wrong?” When we found out it was autism, and it was not our fault, this made us feel a little better. But now knowing that you have an autism spectrum condition,  it made us feel helpless thinking how can we help you. Matthew, every parent wants to help his or her child live a happy life.

Me: Is there anything you think helped me get this far?

My parents: Yes. I made sure ever since you started school I asked you four simple questions. Tell me something good, something bad, something happy something sad. This made you talk about your day and we could elaborate on a specific topic, which was most important to you. Now every day we talk about all different topics.

Me: Yes we still do it today, but I call it debriefing now.

Me: How did you get me to try new things?

My parents: The one that best works for you is reward and consequence. Do you remember when you would not ride your bike for the whole summer?

Me: Yes

My parents: Well it was not until I purchased a computer game and told you, that you could not play it until you rode your bike. You learned to ride a bike in 2 hours.

Me: Is there anything else you think that helps me?

My parents: Matthew it’s all trial and error. There have been times a strategy may work but the next day fails completely. We find its one step forward and 2 steps back. I get told a lot of the time that I’m a pessimist.

Me: What does that mean?

My parents: It means I look for the worst things in life. I do this to try to look ahead on what problems could arise for you. Everything I try to teach you now is not to learn for today but 2 years from now. I have always tried to teach you some problem solving of situations that may arise as you get older. Hopefully with constant repetition when this time comes, it would have sunk in and you would be ready.

Me: Are you tired of having a son with autism?

My parents: If you mean tired as exhausted, there are times, but I get the same exhaustion from telling your brother to pick up his clothes. Matt I’m a mom. I’m tired all the time. It goes with the territory. If you mean am I tired of you… NEVER. I wanted two boys and I was blessed with two wonderful boys, so to that answer - no!!!! You are a wonderful son with so many gifts to offer and I love you and will always love you.

Post-script-

Matt: "I hope that this may help parents. As my mom and dad said, 'it is all trial and error' and if these worked for me maybe they may be able to help your kids with autism."

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Resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism
  

Anonymous said...Made my eyes my eyes a little moist. My daughter and I have similar conversations and I don't always know what to say but try to be insightful and honest. My daughter believes fully that I am her hero in life and that's so much to live up to when I feel at a loss so often. I feel so alone sometimes. Reading this conversation between parent and child really really helps to feel not so alone. So thank you!
  at 7:46 AM  

Anonymous said... I loved this article. Your mom gave some insight into how to get my 6 year old to share his day w/ me. I hope to have conversations like yours with him someday. I love him very much!!
   at 1:57 PM

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