This weekend I had to put this into practice. In a HUGE way.
Minion #1's birthday party was held this weekend, and we invited his classmates. For those of you just tuning in, the minion has autism, PDD-NOS for those of you who like things to be technical and full of acronyms. His classmates also have autism in varying forms. One parent called to say their child couldn't come because they didn't think he could do a birthday party, but two of the other classmates did come. One came with his parents, another with his TSS and his dad. This is the start of where being non judgmental comes into play. It's easy to slip into the role of judge and jury when you think another parent isn't acting with the needs of their child in mind.
When you have a child with special needs, no matter what those needs are, your job as a parent doesn't really change, yes you have added responsibilities and things to deal with, but at the end of the day it's still your job to prepare your child as best as you can for the world around them. So, I was a little shocked when one set of parents wanted to know if they needed to stay with their child when they've not met us before and their child's language skills were that of roughly a two year old. The good news is, he was a fan of wii bowling and cake.
At the end of the day, the minion had a great birthday filled with family and friends he was happy to see, gifts he was truly excited about and I learned a few lessons:
- We are extremely lucky with the version of autism the minion has.
- Parents of special needs kids come in different varieties.
- Some are authoritative, some are permissive
- Some have additional help in the form of a TSS, some don't
- Some parent their children the way they do, because it's what's best for the rest of their family, and some parent each child in a way that's best for them.
- No matter your feelings on the matter, if the child is happy and healthy the parents are doing their best. Not your best, and that's ok too.