Today's environment is one of instant gratification. Everything is faster. There are fast food, on-demand movies and television shows, instant information on the internet and so on. Our society and even our own personalities have been conditioned to not only desire but expect everything we want to be received quickly.
However, having a child with autism can be a contradiction to today’s environment. While as a parent we may desire instant accomplishments and gratification from our children, with our particular children things can take a bit longer. It can be frustrating at times but it's important to understand that our efforts are not in vain.
So as an unconditionally loving and caring parent what should we do when we try and try and we see no results? The answer is simple….Just keep on keepin on. Know that there are benefits even though you may not see it at the time. For 3-4 years we did everything to help promote speech in Jackson, but with no apparent results or success. Then one night he spoke not just a single word but an entire sentence. This did not just happen by chance. It did not happen without effort or without (at times) sadness/doubt. This was the result of 3-4 years of us believing and trying. There were weak moments at which time we just had to remember to keep on keepin on and trust that the information was getting in and it would come back out on his time.
Jackson’s speech was just one of several examples where there was not an instant gratification or even a timely gratification from the efforts put forth by Jackson (or his parents). But in the end through perseverance, consistency and a never give up attitude, Jackson has continued to advance. My suggestion when any parent encounters moments of doubt and sadness whether or not their efforts are benefiting their child is to keep on keepin on. Stay strong and know that your efforts are benefiting. They may just need to marinate for a while.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.