As the boy grows up his questions and doubts about his special brother increases. Since Siddhu is too small to understand autism, I haven’t mentioned anything about it so far. Like any other mom, I characterized Sivaa as God’s special child. But you know the children nowadays keeps on questioning us until they get a clear understanding of how, why, what and when.
One morning Siddhu came up with a very valid apprehension as to what makes his brother special and how he is God’s special child.I was finding it difficult to convince him with any concrete answer. When I exaggerated about how his brother swims and the stories related to it, he replied that it’s because Chettan loves swimming Amma and there’s nothing special in that. And when I told him about how his brother learned skating, he paused me and said.. Amma I know very well how my poor brother struggled to learn that, don’t make it special. He also added a question as to how his brothers struggles be categorized as abilities . I was speechless. Yes…. he was true. I slowly realized that he isn’t my little Siddhu who believes every fantasy stories that I read to him. So I didn’t dare to mention anything about his other skills or learnings
He continued as I understood that he wanted to pour down his intuitions.. There’s nothing special about chettan. He is just an ordinary boy like me. I interfered and asked him whether he envy or feel little jealous towards his brother. He jumped up from the seat and showed an angry disapproving face.He said.. I’m trying to tell you that Sivaa Chettan is my brother and not anyone else brother and Chettan is your child Amma and not God’s special child. He is one among us and not an alien. He is just a slow learner, also he is very hardworking, innocent and intelligent boy like the one in the story you told me the other day. Sorry Siddhu… I don’t remember that Story. Hearing that he got really disappointed with my attitude and went away. Between its so nice to see him getting angry. It’s so heartening to see him raise his voice for Justice to his brother.
I think Siddhu has a very valid point here. When you characterize a neuro divergent as a special child, we tend to pause and start searching for experts to deal with them. We spend most of our time searching for expert opinion forgetting that we are their experts. This pandemic period helped me to understand more about him and was able to spend quality time together. Now I feel I’m in the seventh heaven when Sivaa calls me Amma often.
P.S Every child is unique, special and is God’s gift. And the magic to mould them to a beautiful creation rests with the Mother. So don’t delegate that power to someone else.
Preetha Anoop Menon