How Kids With Autism Express Their Love
This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a mom who blogs over at AutismWonderland.
Today is Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. My son, Norrin, is seven years old and I can count the times that he’s said “I love you” to me spontaneously. When I tell him I love him, he usually says it back (I never taught him to say it). Or he just says “yes” (and that makes me smile). I don’t know if he understands what love means. Love is an abstract concept for many kids with autism to understand. But I know that Norrin loves me, he doesn’t need to say it with words – he shows me.
I asked some autism mom bloggers how their kids show their love and this is what they shared:
Beth, Maternal Instincts: Every morning, first thing, and every night as I tuck him into bed, Nik will lean in to me to give me a soft kiss on the lips. He lets me give him kisses all the time and he’ll give them to me when I ask. But these two times –the bookends of the day– he gives them freely. It is also the only time he looks me directly in the eyes. I live for those moments of connection. [Nik is non-verbal and 9 years old]
Varda, Squashed Mom: It was really really important to me that Jacob’s ABA therapists never taught him to say “I love you” as a rote thing. I was even ok with the idea of him never saying it back to me, because nothing would be worse than him saying it and never knowing if it was because he felt it and understood what it meant or because it had been taught as the “correct” response, So that the first time he told me “I love you Mommy!” – he was about 5 – I knew it was completely spontaneous and real.
Sunday, Adventures of Extreme Parenthood: Every morning as my boys ride off to school in their bus I do the sign for “I love you”. Last year when Sam was about to turn 9 he waved to me and held up his hands and did a perfect Spock “Live long and prosper” sign back to me. I know for sure my boys know I love them but in that instant I knew without a doubt that Sam loved me back.
Patty, Pancakes Gone Awry: I know Danny loves me because even when he needs a break from the whole world, even when he’s tired of his siblings, his classmates and everyone, he will let me sit with him quietly. I will ask him if he wants me to leave him alone and he will say, “No, you can stay.” Sometimes he’ll talk to me about LEGOs or Minecraft. And other times we just sit there quietly together.
Jessica, Don’t Mind the Mess: I see signs of love in physical affection. Graham wants to sit on my lap, he wants to lay on me, he wants me to hold him close. And, of course, sometimes when he doesn’t want me to go he’ll wrap himself around my leg.
Jennifer, Want a Peanut: Because my son is non-verbal, Moe expresses love in more subtle ways, like the way he leans his head on my shoulder when we sit together on the couch. His babysitters also report he looks for me when I’m not there. The first time they told me that, I cried!
How does your child show that he/she loves you?Add a Comment
Tags: autism, Autism Hopes, Autism inspiration, Disability, health, Lisa Quinones Fontanez, Special needs, special needs parenting | Categories: Autism, Children With Special Needs, Disability, SPD, Special Needs, Special Needs Parenting, To The Max