All parents have guilt. Some have more, some have less than others. But we all have guilt. At least the normal parents do, right? Well I am not so normal and I have tons!! I am an autism parent newbie so I am plagued with guilt on a daily basis. It’s something that I’ve come to learn to live with. I’m ok with it. I can still function, and smile and laugh but deep down I know that those feelings are still there. Yesterday’s meeting with the school director was a positive meeting, it was uplifting, we heard good things. That’s not to say that we weren’t made to understand that Panayioti’s speech mimicking skills are almost nonexistent. Despite that, he’s doing really well and all signs point to him doing even better next year and in the years to come.
This morning I’m telling my mother in law all this, that his teachers are really happy with Panayioti, that he’s making friends at his school and may even have a crush on a little girl by the name of Sophia, sweetest thing really. She’s smiling and I notice that she’s close to tears so I know what’s coming next. “Oh Georgia, he wasn’t born this way, why is he like this now, what happened???”, she starts off. “I don’t know”, I answer. “But you should’ve known, you have a niece on the spectrum, you were always with him, playing with him. Didn’t you notice anything when he was a baby?”!! I’m calm because I’ve heard this countless and I mean countless times before so please don’t be surpised by the fact that I didn’t lunge at her. That and the fact that I think my mother-in-law is starting to go a little senile is why I don’t judge her for being so abrupt and almost rude you could say. I think the same things sometimes. Was it the MMR vaccine at 15 months? “Remember how a little after he turned 1 he called to you and said ‘mama, come’ “?, she asks me. Of course I remember this and actually I remember every little detail until the day he got diagnosed. A day so traumatic for both Panayioti and I that Panayioti’s nose started bleeding (from crying so much at the doctor’s office) that I myself felt like I was bleeding inside, like all my organs just shut down and I went deaf, blind and paralyzed all at the same time. When you hear that your child is autistic of course you blame yourself. Of course you feel guilt. You just do.