It’s very difficult when you get a new bunch of people in your childs village. They all come not knowing your child, but wanting to do all the things you have already tried in the lifetime you’ve had with your kiddo. They want to try all the great ideas they have, forgetting that things need to be gradual. You can’t pile too much on all at once. It’s even made more difficult when your child cannot speak and tell you if he’s sad or mad or frustrated.
I am not at all adverse to new ideas and input from people to make Parker’s life easier. I know my limitations and I know I’m not a professional in the field of autism and autism therapies etc. But the one thing I am an expert on is loving my boy and wanting the best for him. I often feel I spend half my time proving to these new people that I do know what I’m doing.
I recently had a new person suggest taking Parker to a dietician; something I did probably 5 years ago. She didn’t really want to hear that it wasn’t a good idea because not only do I already know what he needs to eat for a balanced diet, but just because a dietician tells us an ideal meal guide for him it doesn’t mean he’s going to eat it! I had to multiple times tell her that it’s really a waste of time; not because I don’t want Parker to eat well, but because you can’t physically make him eat what he doesn’t want to eat. It’s maddening when people assume that because Parker is in care it’s because I’m done with caring for him. Having him in care means I’m not only looking out for his needs but I’m also having to make sure that every single person has his best interests at heart, that they’re treating him with respect and dignity and that he’s safe from harm. It’s a 24/7 job and then some.
It absolutely takes a boat load of trust on our part when we are faced with new people. It’s hard not to scrutinize every action and interaction. I have learned though that my first impression of someone is generally pretty spot on and I’ve also learned to listen to Parker’s cues. He’s got a fantastic ability to read people very quickly. So if I notice he’s being standoffish or even aggressive toward someone new, I definitely take note.
So it’s definitely a balancing act that some days I’m great at and some days I just hate. But I know these new villagers are still learning who my boy is and how he’s going to interact with them and I know that the only thing that will make it’s easier for him and everyone involved is time. And patience.