April is National Autism Awareness Month, so we thought we’d show this post one more time.
Sometimes blog ideas come to me in the strangest ways. The other day an idea came in the middle of a complete belly laugh after seeing my son dressed, as he would say, “handsomely”. He had on sweatpants, a t-shirt a size too small and a seersucker blazer. He was beaming with pride at how fabulous he looked and I couldn’t help but light up with joy at what a great little man he is.
And this moment got me thinking. Years ago when I realized something was different with Will and the word autism was first said, I set out to cure him. I tried every form of traditional medicine as well as all the homeopathic, spiritual and experimental options that I could find. It wasn’t until I realized this is how he was made and there is no cure that a sense of calm took me over.
I am now able to live each day savoring the good moments and surviving the bad ones with a gratefulness that I lacked previously. So today I can tell you what autism means to me:
A is for acceptance. This is how these amazing human beings were meant to be and we just need to help them find their voice and happiness in life and not try to change them.
U is for unique. It’s often said “if you’ve seen one child with autism, you’ve seen one child with autism. No two are alike.” And Will is one of a kind I can tell you that.
T is for tolerance. Which is scarce at times when you need it most. I’ve often seen the looks that people throw our way when Will is in the midst of a meltdown. It’s not pretty, supportive or kind and it does more harm than good. So if you’re reading this and come across a situation where a child is acting out, please provide a supportive smile instead of a judgmental stare, you could be helping the parent in ways you cannot imagine.
I is for I will never be the same and thank God for that. Let’s just say prior to children and this diagnosis I had my priorities backwards and I can say with certainty that I now know what matters most.
S is for support, which I receive from friends, family, Will’s teachers, therapists and most importantly other parents on this journey. Without it I would feel alone, misunderstood and wouldn’t be able to survive the hard times.
M is for Magic. The magic of Will accomplishing something new for the first time, how he makes you feel as if you are the most important person in the world when he sees you, the warmth of his hugs, the sound of his laugh, his kindness and loyalty towards his friends, he’s stubborn nature and the amazing memory that his brain holds. It also stands for the magic he has brought to my life. I love you little man.