The Challenges of Parenting a Child With High Functioning Autism

He looks so normal! He's just a late bloomer, are you sure he has Autism? Whats his special gift?

Autism is such a spectrum, each parents experience is so unique. I am not an autism expert, just a mum navigating the challenges having a high functioning child on the spectrum brings.

So what does high functioning even mean? Basically It’s an unofficial term some people use when they talk about people on the spectrum who can speak, read, write, and handle basic life skills. 

The hurdles aren’t always outwardly seen and you can feel like a fraud cause your child doesn't look different or have severe autism. Who am I to complain? I should feel lucky to have these problems! Are my struggles invalid because they aren’t the worst case scenario?

Deciding who to tell and who not is something I've really struggled with. I cringe at the thought of telling every single person we meet. I hate to give him the label, but I also want people to cut him some slack, but not so much slack that she’s treated differently. See my problem!

Strangers become experts after spending a mere 5 mins with your child diagnosing them as fine and you with a case on Munchausen. Then can come the well meaning suggestions for a cure, to which a silent nod and weak smile is my usual natural reaction.

When people ask you why you think he has autism and you start to list all the subtleties, which some-time can sound so flimsy out loud, even you start doubting the formal diagnosis and the secondary diagnosis you seeked out only to be reminded, by the simple act of trying to put sunscreen on your child . He's fine until he’s not . Our main thing is that spontaneity and change is not good. We are lucky that our son often keeps it all together until he gets home, when the days challenges manifest into a huge meltdown, that can leave everyone feeling drained.

The little things I do to ensure consistency and predictability for him can be seen as either helicopter parenting or lack of discipline . Things that are no big deal for most kids can trigger a meltdown and once we’re at that point, there’s usually no coming back. I know from personal experience stricter discipline isn’t going to help. This becomes pretty hard on neurotypical siblings who aren't held to account in the same way.

Are other people judging my as harshly as I judge myself...probably not. There's a lot to work out in this a-typical parenting journey.

This is not a pity blog....none needed. Thank you all the same. xxx