Community Magazine

Autism Recovery What Keeps Us Motivated

By Matthewspuzzle @matthewspuzzle

Autism Recovery What Keeps Us Motivated

Just this past Friday I was complaining about how hard it is to deal with Matthew when he is angry, and that is very true. The emotions I was describing run rampant through me a lot of the time. But not ALL the time. Really he can be, and is, a wonderful, sweet young man that I know has a wonderful heart. But he lives with  something inside him that he doesn’t understand yet. Something that he doesn’t want. How do I know? I know because after he has had a bout of his anger he comes and talks to me. He apologizes for his behavior and we talk about how it feels at that time. He tells me that it feels like someone else is inside him, controlling him. That his body just makes him do these things.

And I know so many of you who don’t have an autistic child will tell me that this is just how kids are, but I think you forget that I have 2 neurotypical children myself. I know what that sort of anger looks like. It has a different quality about it and seems more natural and more of that child. The anger Matthew experiences is not like that anger. It is a part of the “otherness” of autism. And really, until you live with it day in and day out, you can’t understand it, you can’t qualify it. I have lived with it for years and I can’t describe it properly.

But that isn’t what I wanted to tell you about. Instead I want to tell you about what keeps us going! First, and this is one of the best, is when he gives us his love. And often he is completely free with that love. It warms me when he hugs me tight and tells me that I am the best mom in the world. He really believes it. Sigh. That is the best.

Another thing  that is keeping us motivated is the fact that his ATEC score is dropping. An ATEC score is a score from 0 to 180 and the ATEC or Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist is an online test developed my Dr. Bernard Rimland to evaluate if your autism treatment is making a positive impact or not. The closer to 0 your child scores, the closer to recovery! Watching Matthew’s ATEC drop from a 64 to a 36 to now a 16 has keep us on this biomedical path. There are very few things better than a low ATEC. Very few.

Lastly I want to share with you the insights this kid has. He has told me that I beautiful not because of my hair or makeup but because I was a good person on the inside. He has argued with me that even if I mess up, if I yell or shout, that I am still the best mom because I try not to. That I try to be a better person so that makes me a better person. He is only 7. But sometimes he is just an old soul trying to get his message out. That is what keeps me going with Autism Recovery.

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