Autism presents many challenges in our lives but none more challenging for me personally, then the communication barriers. Emmett, especially, is VERY difficult to communicate with. Most of the time we kinda just learn to interpret the sounds as even the words he does use aren’t always used appropriately. However, there are times, like now, where that just isn’t good enough. Emmett is once again running a fever and not feeling well. Despite all of the words he has learned this year so far, he still can’t tell us what’s wrong. We know he’s running a fever but we don’t know if anything hurts or if his tummy is upset. This is beyond frustrating and promotes a rather helpless and distressing feeling for me as his father.
When your child can’t talk or talk well, life takes on a whole new set of challenges. If there was one thing I could change in Emmett’s life (aside from removing the road blocks put in place byautism) it would be to give him the ability to communicate better. Honestly, I would be grateful if he could just tell us how he’s feeling. If something hurts or if he is scared or afraid. I hate the fact that we have very little insight into what is going on with him. I’m horrified by the thought of him suffering in silence. As his father, it’s my job to comfort him when he’s sick, scared or afraid. How can I do that when I don’t know what he is experiencing because of a language and speech delay?
I know the meltdowns and aggressiveness are problems as well but for me personally, I can deal with those. What I can’t deal with is not knowing how my son is feeling. We work with ASL but Emmett prefers the spoken words now over the signing. For whatever reason, he just can’t tell me the things I want to know so desperately. I will continue to do whatever I can to provide comfort and support in whatever way seems to benefit him the most. I just wish I wasn’t always having to shoot from the hip. I wish I knew what he was thinking and feeling so I could be a better more supportive father. Does that make sense?