- Experts know a lot about autism, I know a lot about my child. Autism is not a one size fits all diagnosis, therefore, neither are the various supports and therapies available. If it doesn't look like it fits, it probably doesn't, try something else on for size.
- Never say "never" and never believe "never". Ever. My son loves proving that "never" should NEVER be part of his vocabulary or mine.
- My son has empathy, he feels the emotions of others. In fact, I believe my son "feels" more than most neurotypical people, but, how he shows his emotions may look different. "Different" does not mean absent.
- Most people need educated about autism. The stares, the comments and the unsolicited advice is typically a result of ignorance. I can spend time being offended by the ignorance of others and counting in my head the various ways I could slap them, or I can educate them so the next autistic individual they encounter is better understood. I have chosen to educate and not be charged with assault.
- No, he will not "eat when he is hungry". My son has a very specific and limited diet as a result of his sensory sensitivities and his need for routine. It doesn't matter how good Grandma's famous mac and cheese is, it's not going to change his needs, so I won't ever test this theory.
- His time, his way. All the wasted time I spent agonizing over his delays or watching other kids wondering if, or when, my son would ever catch up was so pointless. My son always gets it, in his time, in his way.
- I worried so much about my future son that there were times I missed my "present son". I would give anything for a do over, to see the boy who was standing in front of me rather than focus and obsess over the boy who was yet to come.
- All those scripts, all those echoes and imitations, all those times I said to my son, "I don't want to hear so and so's voice, I want to hear YOU". Unfortunately for me, it was my son talking, I just wasn't listening.
- My child is not broken, he does not need to be fixed. He needs to be accepted, understood and loved. And trust me, he is.
- Autism is a journey and if you spend too much time watching others traveling a different road, you will miss many wondrous moments on the road before you.
- Yeah, I know the title says 10 things, but, I'm slipping in one more. Some days understanding a child with autism is hard, but, loving them is not.
This list could be endless. This list could go on for days and days. This list is comprised of only 10 things because I know, we are a fast paced society who likes short lists. Really, really short lists. So here it is, short, sweet and begging for about 200 more things I've learned loving a child with autism:
Keeping it real, raw, and AWEnest while laughing, loving and living in our world
touched by Autism.
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Definition of Awe: