Ever since Caleb was young, and there was even a notion that he might have autism, I haven't stopped reading and trying to learn about it because every time I educate myself more, I not only understand autism better, but I connect with my son because I get a glimpse into his mind .
So it was with this same desire for knowledge that led me to read a book I was hearing so much about, "The Spark".
"The Spark" was written by Kristine Barnett, a mother of a boy with autism. The sub-title of the book "a mother's story of nurturing genius" drew me in because I desire to make Caleb as great as he can be, whatever that may be.
The truth is, I couldn't put it down. But the other truth is, it made me feel jealous, and wish Caleb was smarter.....I know that sounds terrible to say, but it's how I felt. But, it also made me wish there was a more "normal" story about a kid with autism in the top 10 sellers list.
Basically the story goes that her son Jacob (Jake) was diagnosed as a child, told he wouldn't amount to much, but she knew there was something more to him; that he was brighter than anyone gave him credit for.
In case anyone wants to read it, I won't share much from the book, but let me just say it is amazing. I can say it ends with Jake in the present day, being paid to research quantum physics at the age of 14. Kristine is a remarkable woman for seeing more to her son than what the experts saw, but I honestly feel like this book perpetuates the "Rain Man" image most people have of autism....
There are no amazing, best sellers about kids with autism who just stop having freak-outs everyday, and then life is a little better. Or how a family tried for 15 years to potty train their autistic child, and it finally worked. I realize that would make for a very boring story, but it would be the more typical story of autism.
I love my son, but sometimes a story like this makes me wish he were a genius, and that I could suddenly "find him" because we discovered his true calling. I can work, and work with him, and he isn't going to be in line for a Nobel Prize anytime soon! The truth is, I asked him last night what he might want to be when he grew up, and he said, ".......uhhhhh.....I dunno" (mono-toned, of course). I was just glad he actually answered my question! As parents of regular, or special needs kids, we are always doubting ourselves, and wondering if our kids could be more if we helped them be more. And secretly, we are always sizing our special needs child up with another child with a similar diagnosis.
My son does have his own spark, though, not one of genius.
If you've met him, you know what I mean. He can be really funny (on purpose and by accident!), can be very sensitive (if he sees me crying he will often say, "Mom is so wet eyes"-trust me, that's sweet!). He has learned to read, write, do math, speak some french, and use Google to search for Buzz Lightyear!
We have hopes for Caleb, but it is hope weighed down by reality/not wanting to feel disappointed. On one hand, you want to push your child, and make sure they are learning and being everything they possibly can so that you can look back and not wonder, "what if I had tried harder". But, on the other hand, part of you wonders if it will be worth the effort, and if anything will come of all the hard work.
In the end, the truth about Caleb is that he makes me raging mad (but only because I see my own faults), but he also makes me laugh until my face is hurting. He makes me see things I never would have noticed (like how in his words "owl is a funny robot!"-it's true, watch an owl move it's head!), and feel things I never would have without him.
Caleb is a spark in my life, so, I think that counts for everything it needs to.
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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