The goals for my son have changed considerably over the years.
Year One: I just knew that I was going to have a happy contented baby who would be just like his incredibly easy big brother. ~ Turns out he was a baby who didn't sleep, wouldn't eat and cried ALL the time.
Year Two: I just knew that if I took him to Mums and Tots he would have an absolute ball and start engaging with his peers AND learn how to clamber and climb and play. ~ Turns out he didn't have a clue what was potting and I was absolutely devastated to see the difference between my child and his peers.
Year Three: I just knew that if I sent him to the same playschool that his big brother went to, then he would begin to communicate with the children around him. ~ Oops, turns out this didn't happen AND I eventually had to organise a facilitator to attend school with him.
Year Four: I don't think I can remember Year Four!
Year Five: Damn it, I am just going to bypass this year.
Year Six: So this is the year that my little boy should be starting big school and I had visions of him dressed up in his khaki shorts and red t-shirt, running off to his mates without a backward glance. ~ Oops, instead we started a small school in order for him to actually have a school to go to.
Year Seven: We had visions of doing a bit of travelling with our two boys. This didn't happen as my boy COULD NOT cope with any changes in his environment and he needed a rigid schedule. We did take a trip overseas but without our precious boy. Bittersweet. :(
Year Eight: It's a blur.....
Year Nine: To be honest, I had expected my child to be toilet trained by around the age of three/four. ~ Oops, just a little bit late, although we now have him peeing in the loo. I am not going to mention the other.
Year Ten: Okay, I have come to terms with the fact that my earlier dreams are far from happening. Time to make me some new plans ~ When, where, what, how..... who knows!
Year Eleven: Plodding along. Feeling a bit sad that I don't really have a wonderful connection with my boy. I am me, he is he. Two separate people, existing. Enough of the blues ~ time to be proactive and create that connection.
Year Twelve: Oh. My. Hat. My boy is losing his cuteness factor. He is growing fast and puberty is knocking on the door. The years have flown by too quickly. I am looking at his social and emotional development and revisiting stages that were missed many years ago.
Year Thirteen: It's a funny ol' thing, my style of parenting has changed considerably from when we first started our autism journey. My son has now got a new and improved *me*!
Year Fourteen: Seven years ago my boy could not travel (see Year Seven). This year we took a short plane trip and stayed away from home for three nights. I am thinking that once I get his food issues sorted, we may need to rethink future travel plans and be sure to include him.
Onward and upwards.
Di is the parent of a 14 year old boy who just happens to be autistic. You can find them here and here!! :-)