I couldn't simply say “Parker you need to drink this water because it’s good for you” and even if I did she wouldn't grasp the concept of what I was saying.
Looking at this picture you may see Parker just being silly but in our house this is what victory looks like. I would like to tell you we’ve had a long standing battle with getting Parker to drink water but that would be an understatement. A better statement would be we’ve gone to war with Parker over drinking water. Tantrums (notice I said tantrums and not meltdowns because there is a difference), screaming fits, hitting, biting (yes! biting), drinking strikes, and more. You name it we’ve experienced it when it came to her drinking water. I would literally throw my hands up in frustration and give in.
Little did I know it was more than just her not wanting to drink water. Don’t get me wrong it was definitely a portion of it. Many children, autistic or not aren’t particularly fond of drinking water. This coupled with the inability to communicate appropriately ( from me and Parker) was a recipe for disaster. I had to take a step back reevaluate and take a new approach and as cliche as this may sound, see it through her eyes.
Sometimes with autism it feels like you have to learn another language.
I couldn't simply say “Parker you need to drink this water because it’s good for you” and even if I did she wouldn't grasp the concept of what I was saying. I had to team up with her Speech pathologist, Occupational therapist, other parents, and do my own research. It took time, patience, understanding, and grit which are honestly the key ingredients in raising a child with autism.
So every time she finishes her cup of water and runs to me with the biggest smile to show me her empty cup ( yes she does this every time she finishes a cup of water) we celebrate! Everyone in the house jumps, shouts, and sometimes we even dance! We are celebrating more than just drinking water. We are celebrating her overcoming every challenge she has faced and every one she will overcome in the future. We are celebrating her being perfectly Parker.