Some of the parents I knew were asking me how I can tame my two sons. Both of them have ASD, one also with ADHD and the other with Dyslexia. It is a thing with their dad’s side of the family. All of them are with autism, ADHD, anxiety, or any other developmental disorder. At least, just a mild or moderate type, and not the severe kind.
My answer to these parents was straightforward – I have learned to accept the fact that my boys have special needs. These needs will have to be met so that they can function appropriately. As a parent, that is my obligation to them, and I will do everything in my power to assist my boys as long as they need me.
I do not understand why some parents sensationalize the topic of ASD or ADHD. It is common these days. One out of fifty-four children in the US is in the spectrum. This data was compiled in the first quarter of 2020 and came from CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Little boys are more likely to have the disorder compared to girls, and while there is no cure, there is a treatment to help these kids live a healthy life when they grow up. The problem will arise when the parent does not subject their child to treatment, and there is no follow up from their part.
First off, what is ASD? ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disorder that can be diagnosed with young kids, which shows developmental delays. It can be about their behavior or their social and communication skills. ADHD is a disorder under the umbrella of ASD. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the full name of the behavioral issue. Yes, ADHD is a behavioral disorder, and it can be treated.
Of course, like any other issue that connects with mental health, ASD, and everything within the spectrum can manifest mildly, moderately, or severely. My boys are in the mild end of their disorders, and they are highly functioning, as well. It means that they look normal, and they can converse with others in a normal way. Although the delays and disabilities can be seen when they will play, go to school, or study. I did not see that as a problem because I am not the type of parent who would pressure their child to excel in class. Also, I let my children run free at home. We have a big yard, and I put everything in there for their physical activities. The therapist said that the boys must do sports or play their games since it is therapeutic. And I let them be. That is how they are, and I will not be a hindrance to that since sports and playing games are also good for them, physically and mentally.
Now, there is this COVID-19 pandemic, and we are on lockdown. I saw it as an opportunity to practice discipline with the boys. They have to understand their disorders, and as they were growing, I have given them ample knowledge about it. Self-awareness is the key to improving oneself, and for the boys, I would say – “Henry, darling, you are hyper right now. You have to act accordingly, love. It is too much.” My boy will then adjust himself and try to cope. The other one would sometimes throw a fit. And so, this is what I do, “Adam, baby. Your autism mind right now is telling you to sulk and be in a tantrum. I think it is not right to do so, love. It is not fair for you and me. Can you please tell yourself to stop with the tantrum and help me out?” Every time I say that to him, his face lightens up, and his mood adjusts. This can be done on kids with mild ASD, of course.
I have no significant issues with my boys. They follow the rules, and sometimes they even set it. Even during the lockdown, they sleep on time and rise as if there is school. Of course, classes are done online, and I fill up their day with activities too.