We, as an Asian society, love talking about how well our children are doing, wether that be in studies, sport or career path. Yet we seem to be so embarrassed if our child is deemed different in society. We never seem to openly admit that our child has a disability, which is nobody’s fault. It is God given and we need to understand this in order to help our child and others out there.
Having a child with a disability is often frowned upon. This has to CHANGE! Each and every child is a blessing and we should embrace this gift, whatever the circumstances may be. Having a child with a disability is life changing. It is also difficult to grasp both emotionally and physically to adjust to the changes of the plans you had already imagined for your future. Sometimes the lack of understanding from others is the biggest challenge you will have to over come. Society can make or break you. As a parent it is up to you to stand up, have your voice heard and to fight your child’s corner in order to do the best you possibly can for your child.
Social situations can be very difficult and at times it hurts when everyone seems to look at your child and try to work out what is wrong. Autism sometimes has no physical traces, so to the outside world, they look just like any normal person. Having to explain to others the reasons to why your child is behaving in a certain way can be very distressing for both the parent and child. Commonly, people presume that your child is acting up and has mental health issues, which in the case of autism does not apply. Simply creating awareness and broadening the understanding of others can change these views and the affect it has on the parents. Children with autism have difficulty in understanding the world we live in. Communication and social skills are not always apparent. Depending on the severity of autism, many children with this difficulty do not make eye contact with others. Some may not be able to speak, whereas some can understand and respond to verbal communication. Other common autistic traits are flapping hands, spinning, rocking and other movements that to everyone else may be deemed as strange or wrong, but it is their way of coping in a situation that they cannot understand. The parents have to deal with the changes, the stares and sometimes even rude remarks. Only those on the receiving end of those remarks will understand how much they really hurt. So the next time you see a child that may be doing something that you think isn’t quite right, I hope you’ll show compassion and understanding to both the parent and child.
A child with a disability is a huge blessing despite the heart break it can bring. It should never be considered a burden or something to be ashamed of. Together with awareness and understanding you all have the potential to change lives and to make lives easier for these special children and their brave parents.