Raising Ronin - His Autism Journey
By Krystle Prashad | Published on December 17, 2020 | 6 Minute Read
A phrase I repeatedly use is that this journey I am on belongs solely to my son, Ronin. This is his Autism journey and I am simply walking the road that he is paving. Even though at times he may block the road, I make sure that I figure out a way through the roadblocks instead of creating a different path.
I am raising Ronin to not only be physically independent, but to also be mentally. A huge part of my parenting includes allowing my son to express himself. It includes letting him decide the person he wants to become. As he ages, my biggest piece of advice to Ronin is to be true to himself. At the end of the day, he has to look in the mirror and be happy with the person staring back at him.
Being a parent to an Autistic child means that the water can sometimes become muddy. Between doing what you as a parent think is best and what is actually best for your Autistic child, doesn’t always come easy. Some may not understand that because we typically think parents always make decisions in the best interest of the child. This is not always true. I have caught myself making decisions for Ronin that I myself wanted. Later on, I saw the true errors in my judgement.
One of those errors was not speaking up loud enough before Ronin was diagnosed with Autism. I saw the signs. I could smell the rain before it poured. I knew deep down in my heart that Ronin was Autistic and yet I didn’t speak loud enough. The voice in my head was fighting its way to come out and I put every barrier possible in front of it so it couldn’t escape out of my mouth. I didn’t want a diagnosis to define Ronin. I didn’t want him to be looked at as just Autistic and that wasn’t what was best for him. The waters were so muddy back then I couldn’t even see my feet.
"I am raising Ronin to not only be physically independent, but to also be mentally. A huge part of my parenting includes allowing my son to express himself."
I let the small amount of research I had done on Autism define my thoughts. I let the negatives outweigh any positives. I didn’t see the beauty of this spectrum. I say I didn’t want him defined by this word, but I had no idea what it truly even meant. Being Autistic does define him. It is him. He lives it. He breathes it. He is Autism and he is the most beautiful soul to have ever walked in my little world. Without it, I’m not sure who he would be. Would he have the same quirks that I adore? Would he show me love in that raw and powerful way I write about?
Throughout this journey, I have made a vow to Ronin to be a mindful parent. I vow to always ensure that he chooses how to represent himself and to always respect his boundaries. I want to not just be an Autism parent who wears it as some type of badge, but to actually be one who advocates. Advocates for acceptance, love, and overall support. One who does not only advocate for young Autistic children, but for Autistic adults who he will someday be.
I hope he is proud of the mother I am becoming. I hope when he is older, he can go on to tell others that I followed his lead. That even though I held his hand on his journey, that he guided me. If that is done at the end of the day, then I will consider my duty as a parent fulfilled.
About the Author
Krystle Prashad is an Autism advocate and SAHM of an Autistic toddler. She uses her social media (@autism_mama_in_rewind) to spread Autism acceptance and to share her love for sensory play with her son.