At first, I thought, how will we survive in this tiny home during a lockdown? I cannot go out for work, and with that, what about my income? Another thing is that I have a son with special needs. He also has to go to a school for kids who are the same as him. And my son, well, let’s just say he needs constant prompting. I shook off that fact, but now, I can say for sure that I have survived it. My son and I have survived at home and under lockdown without having to go out in public.
He will need assistance right now so that I could prepare him when he becomes an adult. I would gladly take care of my son up until he grows old, but by nature, I am sure that he will have to bury me. With that, when he was diagnosed with ASD, I had to make sure that my boy can and will be able to take care of himself.
I noticed something different from his behavior when he was about four years old. My son would not react as much when he got hurt. I would not even hear him cry. Not one sound. The sight of blood did not scare him. But he would shout and get angry over petty things, like if there was a loud honk or if the TV had a high volume. I thought, at first, that he had sensitive ears. And like any mother should have done, I brought him to the ear specialist only to find out that his hearing was normal. The specialist did say that I must bring my boy to the pediatrician for further testing. And so I did.
The doctor did some tests, and all his vitals were normal. He did say that my son was unusually quiet and that he would not respond to him (the doctor) as much as any regular kid would. With that observation, the pediatrician told me that he wanted to send my son to a different doctor, another doctor for kids, who specialized in neurodevelopment conditions. All I could say that time was, “Yes, let’s do it.”
When I got home that night, I searched for the meaning of that kind of doctor, and I found what his specialty was all about. I had reservations if my son needed to see that type of specialist. Did my son have a disorder? It took me about five minutes to decide, and I told myself that it is better to be safe than sorry.
The appointment date came, and true enough, my son was diagnosed with ASD. Autism Spectrum Disorder which means that my son has delays in his neurodevelopment. My first word to the doctor was – cure. He told me that there is no cure for ASD, but there is the management and that my son would need my help, my utmost patience, devotion, and deep love. Right then and there, I devoted half of my life to my son and his needs. Now that he is eleven and almost a teenager, I feel so good about myself. My son is coping with his disorder, one day at a time, and he is also self-sufficient. We even have a schedule during the lockdown. My worries were diffused when his teacher called me up and said that they would have online lessons. As for his therapy, it will be done online as well.
My work panned out too. Our company gave us two weeks’ leave with pay, and then we opened our doors to the public through online platforms. Our boss had to slash half of our pay just so to accommodate everyone, and we all agreed. Instead of some co-workers losing their jobs, we would all sacrifice so that we will all live.
It is not difficult to be in a lockdown with your ASD son, especially when he is managing his behavior well.