You never know what's going to bring that massive grin to your face. You know the one I mean, the one you can't stop even when you try, where you think if you don't stop your cheeks might squash your eyes closed. The best one's are those that catch you unawares. That's exactly what happened to me this morning.
Like most families that have autism in them, the morning routine is fairly fixed. The routine gives the kids the stability they need to start the day and helps us get out of the house. Today though there was a slight adjustment to the routine. It was the first day that Anthony would be taking his ADHD meds.
We told Anthony about both his autism and his ADHD about two months ago. It was the right time as he'd started to get frustrated with his difficulties and needed to know that these conditions meant he was different, not less, than other people. Medication was not a quick decision. We all, including Anthony, agreed, he might be helped if he could concentrate a bit better at school. So as he came down the stairs I reminded him that he would have his medicine with his breakfast this morning. And that's when it happened.
"Remember, we are going to take your medicine this morning."
"Yes, honey." (I'm fairly liberal with terms of endearment in our home)
"The medicine won't make my brain like everyone else's will it? Because then I don't want it."
And that's when the grin happened. I tried my best to answer him through a face that would not stop smiling.
"No sweetie, it's just a tiny little medicine that might help you concentrate a tiny bit better."
I was truly amazed by our son. We weren't sure how he would react to knowing he had autism and ADHD. He's struggle with some of his other diagnoses like his hypermobility - he just gets annoyed that his loose knees keep 'making' him go on his toes when he walks. But this was brilliant.
Our son had not only come to terms with being different, he was in fact, completely happy with it. He didn't want to not be himself. He was willing to forgo medication that could help him at school if it meant it changed him as a person. Honestly, I can't contain my joy. Sometimes it feels like society does nothing but point out how my kids are different even if by simply not being able to accommodate them. Anthony, does not feel this or if he does, he doesn't care maybe. He likes who he is.
He had his meds with his breakfast and I busied myself getting the rest of the kids breakfasted and out the door but I did it all with a giant grin. As I dropped him at school, I reminded the staff to look out for side effects to his meds and then couldn't help but tell his teaching assistant about his comment. She grinned too. One of those big grins.. you know the kind.
Our blog - It's time to tell him about his autism
Our blog - The slippery slope of medicating my kids