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Life Lessons From Raising An Autistic Child (Part IV)


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Being a parent is a mission. Who knows? Maybe the reason I was put on this world is to take care of Menachem. Do I dare hand my mission over to someone else?

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5 Responses to “Life Lessons From Raising An Autistic Child (Part IV)”

  1. Many non-communicative people are trapped in bodies — assume that Menachem hears, thinks, feels, and is able to communicate — and just talk to him as a 'normal' person…. having raised a child before the spectrum and told to institutionize him — I can proudly tell you that he is married, has 4 children, a Master's degree and of course, works.

  2. Love Israel says:

    I wonder just how much Menachem longs, deep in the hidden places of his heart, to know and to feel that he is loved, that he is wanted, that he matters to someone.

  3. Love Israel says:

    I wonder just how much Menachem longs, deep in the hidden places of his heart, to know and to feel that he is loved, that he is wanted, that he matters to someone.

  4. I really appreciate the author's honesty.

  5. Karen Berger says:

    Autism is a tough one. The author's honesty, while refreshing, is kind of hurtful. Maybe it's because the truth of the experience of those caring for autistic individuals can be painful. Institutionalizing autistic people.
    is a solution for some but it costs a lot of money to get good care. Most people don't have that as an option. So, what's a parent to do? With autism on the rise, it will become a growing health care issue.

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Usually Menachem is very hungry when he gets home, and we have food prepared for him. Though logically, he should sit down happily and eat, when he is in such a hungry state logic flies out the window, and, out of frustration, Menachem will knock over and spill the food. So meal time with him involves a lot of cleaning and coaxing. And always, always, vigilance.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but what happens when the village has no idea what to do with the child?

Sibling relationships are a world of their own. By nature complex, the intricate dynamic is thrown for a giant loop when a special-needs sibling enters the picture.

The uncle’s story:

When Menachem was a baby, he seemed like any other normally developing kid. Videos from that time show him laughing and reacting to other people; you’d never guess how he would turn out. I don’t know, maybe a professional might have seen the signs, but I certainly didn’t.

The father’s story: What’s your parenting philosophy? How do you feel about discipline? What educational approach do you find most compatible with the sum of yours and your child’s personalities?

Being a preschool teacher is a big responsibility, and believe me, I don’t take it lightly. For these two to three year olds, I’m the first teacher they’ll ever have. My primary concern, of course, is to provide them a safe environment for playing, but I also try to get in some teaching, in a way that’s appropriate for their age.

And underneath there exists the same deep desire for connecting with others that all of us have. More desperate, perhaps, because the desire is trapped inside a mind that doesn’t know how to reach out.

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