Having “the talk” with your child on the spectrum

In the weeks leading up to April 2, 2013, I thought long and hard about the idea of having “the talk” with my son, Lucius.  I wondered how he was going to feel when I explained autism to him.  I weighed whether introducing his diagnosis to him, at age six, or waiting until he got older was the right thing for Lucius.  I wondered if he might use his diagnosis as a crutch or an excuse.  I wondered if he would understand.  Thoughts bounced around in my head, but I was certain of one thing; I didn’t want my son to hear about his diagnosis from someone else or have someone else ask him something which could be potentially troublesome.

On the evening of April 1, Lucius and I were tucked together on the loveseat enjoying some quiet time together.  I realized this moment was the perfect opportunity to have the talk.  I introduced the word autism out loud and I did my best to explain how the term affected Lucius.  To my surprise, Lucius looked relieved.  I began to cry as I realized my child was just waiting for some understanding as to why he struggled with certain elements.  Lucius was not upset and he told me he loved me very much.  I reassured Lucius I would always be there for him and that I would help guide his way and celebrate all his successes, LOUD AND PROUD!

I fell asleep that night with a clear conscious, and only a tidbit of trepidation in my heart for the entire splendor that was yet to come.

By Dana from Thunder Bay