After doing draft after draft here it is, the blog on why I don’t really talk about my son or his disability.
The most important thing I hope to get across with this blog entry is some understanding. Autism effects many children, these children will grow up to be adults and the judgement towards them seems to be more harsh. I was very hesitant to write this entry because one thing I’ve noticed is even though two children may be in the same part of the Autism Spectrum they will be very different from one another. This also means that everyone’s story will be different.
At first glance my son seems to be a happy, healthy, caring little man. It’s only if you’ve known him from when he was very young or get to really know him now where you’ll see his “disability“. I use the word in quotations because even though my son has Autism he is still very able to do many things. Yes they may be done differently than how other children do them or in ways you have never thought possible but he can still do them. I’m not saying that raising a child with Autism is easy but from what we have experienced so far we seem to have found a routine / certain things that work for the both of us and make life a little easier.
My son (Keegan) was diagnosed with Autism in 2014 right before he turned five. It shed a lot of light on why he did things the way he did. Like his lack of speech or how he would interact (or lack there of) with other children his age when playing at school for example. However even after being told that he was on the spectrum (high functioning on the new spectrum, Asperger on the old scale is how it was explained to me) I still didn’t treat him as a special needs child. I learned that by making a good routine, using picture diagrams or going with simple step by step instructions not only would be find his independence but he will / can learn many skills.
Like any parent I want nothing but the best for my son, I understand that things will be trickier for him but he is still very capable of succeeding. I don’t know if he realizes it or not just yet but his Autism is kind of a gift. It lets him focus and see things many would miss, he can see how things work without even having to take them apart or hear every part of a song and recreate it without having any special training. It’s these things that I see in him that I try to embrace in our day to day life in hopes that he eventually sees / learns how capable he really is. And that even though some people may talk down to him because of his “disability” he can prove them wrong and exceed expectations, kind of like how he is doing at school even now at the age of almost seven.
With all that being said I guess the main reason I don’t write more entries about my son or anything relating to Autism is because I personally feel that it’s not really my story to tell. Yes I am a single parent to a child with Autism but Keegan is the one with Autism he is the one who it will always effect on the inside. As for writing about my son in general well, there isn’t much to really say and I’d like to keep our memories both good and bad to ourselves because as much as social media can be fun not everything needs to be out on it.
All anyone really needs to know is that Keegan is so caring, clever / intelligent (yes I’m aware many parents say that about their kids), funny, happy and healthy little man. He shows me old things through new eyes in his own way and to me he is just a little boy who is quickly growing into what I hope will be a wonderful adult.
For anyone who wants to learn more about Autism, I’ll leave some links below but please remember people are so much more than their disabilities. It doesn’t matter if they’re physical or mental disabilities it’s never fair to judge or be treated differently.
Feel free to check out the following links, they are the places I turn to when I have questions or looking for extra support:
Bryan’s’ group, it is a great source of support for those with Autism or parents / friends of those who are living with Autism:
Autism Speaks Canada, has lots of information and goes into deeper detail then I ever could.
Canucks Autism Network (CAN), they provide year-round, high- quality sports, recreational, arts, and social programs for individuals and families living with autism, while spreading awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia.