I finally finished “Living Autism Day By Day”, written by Pamela Bryson-Weaver. This isn’t a typical autism book. It’s not written as a story. Instead, it’s written as a day-by-day inspiration. Pamela isn’t trying to tell you how you should raise your autistic child. She isn’t hitting you over the head with what you should do to “cure” your child. Her book is a diary of inspiration. A way to give other parents hope and help to get through the day-to day life of being a parent to an autistic child.
I sat down and tried to pick out my favorite quote from the book. This was very difficult, because there are a lot of really great ideas shared by Pamela. One really hit home for me, and I thought it would be a great one to share. Pamela starts each day in the “diary” with a quote, and finishes it with a “Just for Today” action. She also provides a section for notes on each page.
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind - Bruce Lee
Did you know that it takes five years for the seed of a bamboo tree to emerge? Then the sprout grows an incredible 90 feet tall in just six weeks! During it’s five dormant years, the bamboo seed lays down a remarkable root system. It is this root system that empowers the bamboo plant to grow so fast in such a short time. The bamboo farmer’s patience invites us to ask: how patient are we when we don’t see immediate results from the efforts of therapy and the cultivated roots of love for our autistic child?
- Just for Today-
I patiently keep my hopes high as I work to see the results of my efforts.
Patience can be difficult for anyone to manage. How many times a day does a parent ask God for patience when dealing with an NT child? Take that and multiply it by a lot, and you have a day in the life of an autistic parent. I love my son. He’s so sweet. He’s also very stubborn. Very, very stubborn. He’s now 16 years old, and very strong. I can’t easily maneuver him physically to do or not do something. I have to be patient, and try to encourage him with words, (and sometimes bribery). On a really bad day, when patience is wearing really thin, I’ll give in and let him have his way. Yep, I have my days when I feel like I’m the worse mom in the world because I was completely manipulated by my child.
Reading the quote above reminds me that I’m not a person without patience. I’ve had my bad days, but I’ve also had some really good ones. I remember back to the days when I used to homeschool my son. Talk about an exercise in patience. I’d go weeks teaching him the same thing, calmly and patiently. Just when I think he will never grasp what I am teaching him, something clicks. And he gets it. Those, and other moments like that, are what make each day worth while.
Sometimes we just need a reminder of what is amazing about our child. Or about us. ”Living Autism Day By Day” is full of hope and advice on how to get through the days. It’s also a reminder of what makes our children so special. Raising an autistic child isn’t all the horrendous things that others may say it is. Our children can bring so much joy to our lives. Once you accept your child for who he or she is, and concentrate on helping your child live a life full of love and happiness, you will be amazed at the joy you will find in your life. If you are having a bad day, pick up Pamela’s book and find a quote in it that helps you get through it.