Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Facts are Easier to Handle with Proper Understanding...

This is a story I received on one of the newsletters I subscribed to on It was written by Karen Simmons, Founder & CEO of I found it interesting that a lot parents I interact with in Nigeria face a similar situation, so I decided to share it here with the kind permission of

"It's funny how people in the midst of denial behave.

When faced with a fact we just don't want to see, or bluntly refuse to admit, many of us immediately try to dismiss that fact point blank.

You know what they say, "Pride comes before the fall..."

You should have seen me, a loving Mother stubbornly refusing to budge from my obviously errant opinion about my child. Excuses flowed like a river and I was not a happy camper.

My sister in-law was clearly correct, yet I couldn't see the forest for the trees.

After all, it seemed as if she was verbally "attacking" my son by suggesting he be checked for autism.

Of all the nerve!

What right does she have to spout such a thing?!? She wasn't a doctor!

I didn't know about Jonathan's autism until my sister in law, Anna, told me she'd heard a radio talk show discussing autism. In the same breath, she also said, ""based on some of the warning signs, I think Jonathan might be autistic. You should have him checked out, Karen.""

My immediate response was ""no way"", there is nothing wrong with my son.

I then sarcastically said, ""why don't you have Julia checked out, she acts different too"". Julia is her daughter who happens to be the same age as Jonny, which made it easy for us to compare.

Of course no one wants to hear anything negative about their child but I will swallow my pride and say out loud to the world...I'm certainly glad that I listened.

That entire embarrassing episode really threw me for a loop. I got schooled in the five steps of grief:

- Denial
- Anger
- Bargaining
- Sadness
- Acceptance.

Although these steps are an entire conversation in themselves, I must say that my denial was very tough to get through. It took my husband another ten years or so to finally come around.

Difficult as the pain was to navigate through, it had to get done. Jonathan needed all the love and attention we could muster...especially in the early days of the diagnosis.

Looking back, the initial problem was not with Jonathan, it was with me. I took a long hard look in the mirror and made changes.

Autism is so easy to see past, especially when a child is young.

At 15 or 16, it's too old to be exhibiting behaviors like flapping their hands in the air or rocking back and forth. By letting go of my pride early on, we provided for and received much assistance for Jonathan.

I'm thankful for my Sister's sharp attention and love. I've accepted Jonathan for who he is and what must be.

Have you caught yourself denying facts?

What was the turning point of truth for you?

In what way did those around you help or hinder the situation?"