To the Wonder Souls who are in the trenches right now, fighting as well as working with autism every single day, please listen to what I am about to say.
You see the thing is….in those early days of autism entering our life, I was scared too because I mistakenly believed autism was a childhood crasher, game over, dream ender. I thought if I worried more that I was working harder. Crazy stuff you say? Yeah, maybe… but I bet you know what I’m talking about too ;).
What I am here to share with you is that autism is NOT, by any means, a game ender, my friends, it’s just a different processing system. That’s the crazy, crazy part I can see now, fifteen years later, as I look back on our journey….the game is NOT over just because you have a diagnosis.
Autism just means it’s going to be tougher,the challenges are going to stand a little firmer, and you are going to live in a gray area for a pretty good while…BUT….autism is also full of some wildly good stuff too and autism actually means that a new chapter is beginning for you, your child, your family and everyone else that steps into your journey. Autism simply means you have to throw out the old rule book and write a new one. Or, better yet, go without rules and wing it.
Yes, your child is going to be quirky, your child’s progress will come more slowly at times and you are not always going to have the answers. Nonetheless…trudge forward, stand your ground and I guarantee you that when you look back you will understand what I am saying….you’ll see how different may very well be harder but it’s still GREAT and it’s not by any means less. The lessons you learn from autism aren’t taught in any book because they are bigger than rule books. I have fought, I have thrown down, and I have pushed back hard…and he and I are both better for it all. And, just in case you wonder, let me say crying is okay too. Cry for goodness sake…it’s a release from all the hard work and emotion you fill your day with and you just have to let it out sometimes. I have cried my eyes out many times and in moments but it didn’t mean I was losing…it meant I needed a moment to regroup and to gather myself before I kept moving forward.
And, for the record, my boy is not perfect. We did not overcome every obstacle, he is still on the spectrum and he still faces setbacks and struggles every day but we’re OKAY. He is the very best HIM and who he is…is pretty fabulous. He teaches me mountains of stuff that I never would have known and I would not change him. He’s okay, I’m okay… and we are pretty okie dokie together.
If I could change one thing it would be this one little thing….I wish I had understood all of this sooner, like when he was three….so that I could have put the fret ball of worry aside and just enjoyed him completely. Worrying robs you of your smile and your joy and doesn’t do your kiddo one bit of good.
Sparkle On, my friends!