Saturday, January 9, 2016

What does acceptance really mean?

I remember saying the following sentence very soon after my son was diagnosed with autism "I have accepted that Moeez is autistic and I am going to deal with it to the best of my ability". I was proud of myself for not being in denial even for a short while and wasting no time in strategising and implementing a therapeutic course for my son. Thus, as far the word 'acceptance' in its generic connotations is understood, I had aced the act!

I think that most parents of special needs children will agree that the path of raising their special children is often strewn with extreme emotions.There is celebration on the one end of the emotional spectrum and heartache on the other. With stereotypical children this upheaval is not so emphatic, at least that is how I have experienced it. For instance, where my other two (stereotypical) boys are concerned, I am not easily distressed by the ups and downs in their lives just as I am not overly exuberant of  their success. Therefore, it is not hard for me to accept that Murad, who is a very talented sportsman, has not excelled in any sport due to his lack of passion and neither am I heartbroken that Mikail plays no sports at all considering both my husband and I are quite sporty and very fitness conscious. Am I an awful mother? I don't think so. It's just that the challenges that I have faced with Mo have  turned me into a 'chilled out mom' as far as my other children.

Anyway going back to 'acceptance', as  the years flew by  I realised that the act of 'acceptance' in the context of Mo's lifelong challenges was  a recurrent theme in my life which replayed every now and then following the latter's developmental trajectory.

As Mo grew in years following an uneven path of successes and set backs, I constantly had to toggle the barometer of  'acceptance' with relation to him.

For instance along my journey with Mo I had to 'accept' that:
Mainstream school for Mo was not a suitable option anymore and that he would have to go to a special school.
He would probably stimm through his life and standout in public as odd while doing so.
That Mo would have to opt for a life skills path and not go down the academic route.
That he would never be able to lead a fully independent life.
That Mo would probably never have a friend in the true sense of the word.
 That he would not grow taller than his 5ft height no matter how many stones I turned. so on and so forth.

Thus, whereas during the very first few weeks of Mo's diagnosis,  I was convinced that I had dealt with 'accepting' autism, it kept on piling new challenges on me through the ensuing years to date.  Challenges whose reality I had to learn to accept. 'Acceptance' has definitely become easier with time but I know now that it is a continuous process and not a one time thing. This is just the nature of the unpredictability of autism.


  1. huma, you are an amazing mother and an amazing woman. you have accepted all the challenges with grace, humor and an openness of mind and spirit. I am in awe of all that you and Mo have accomplished. Love minnie

    1. Minnie I had amazing friends to support me through my journey xxx