Autism is a 6 letter word

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.

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19 Responses to Autism is a 6 letter word

  1. Heather Terrell says:

    Wow…that is beautiful. Will is as lucky to have you as you are to have him. I’m so touched. So glad that you have reached a place of joy that you can recognize and appreciate in your parenting journey.

  2. Kelly Tyler says:

    A is for AMEN!!! Love you and your Amazing Will, or as Josiah call’s him, “God’s Will”!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. Now we need to get him the seer sucker pants to match!!!

  4. Elizabeth B says:

    I especially like the “I is for I will never be the same.” And, Will did look really handsome in that seersucker jacket when I saw him before Christmas!

  5. Kerri LaMontagne says:

    You must stop bringing me to tears like this! You have captured Will and his essence perfectly!
    Kerri

  6. Joanne M says:

    Lisa, your thoughts remind me of my brother and how he has changed my priorities and perceptions.
    Tommy is autistic and has other issues that for a number of years forced him to live at a developmental facility. A few years back, Tommy accomplished all of the behavioral and all of the other criteria that was necessary to allow him to assimilate back into the community in a group home setting.
    As I made a homemade diploma for him, it occurred to me that he worked harder to achieve what he did than anything I have ever done in my life.
    I am proud of all he has done and proud to be his sister.

  7. Jennifer Hanss says:

    You inspire me and so does Will. I love you both!

  8. Step Counter says:

    I was inspired by this, you work so hard & which iam truly proud of you.

  9. Lisa S. says:

    Will is very lucky to have such an amazing Mom. You are lucky to have two wonderful children. Your blog is so well written.

  10. Megan McCullough says:

    I read this 3 times today to keep it real, thanks for reminding me what matters

  11. Shanita says:

    Amen for ‘Acceptance’. We all want to be loved for the amazing beings God created in our original state.

    *I am a Wells Fargo employee.

  12. Maria Cetrola says:

    Beautiful, Touching and Real.

  13. Page says:

    Beautiful !! Your an amazing Mom…. Go Will !! I am so grateful for all the loving lesson he can teach.

  14. Anonymous says:

    my sister’s son is born with Autism (mild). We love him so much. As i’m reading your comment it just makes me think about all the funny thing that my my nephew does. Children with autism are very smart children. They learn very quickly. It just take one time for them to see something you do and their able to repeat what they see and what you teach to them. My hat goes off to you. I know it takes work, but you get to enjoy alot and learn alot from your child. As always may God bless you.

  15. Lane says:

    Beautiful Lys! No one could have said it as beautifully and profoundly as you have here. Love you both, and little sister too!

  16. PEGGY CASEY A FRIEND OF GRANDMA'S ANN VEITINGER says:

    I feel as if I met Will through his Grandma
    Lot’s of Love

  17. Abby says:

    Love this post!

  18. ellen says:

    You are amazing. You are an amazing mother, daughter and friend. Your six little letters really should open everyone eyes. The glass is always half full and not half
    empty. I also feel like I know Will. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone could have acceptance and tolerance for things that they can’t understand. God bless you for opening my eyes again. Will is so lucky to have a wonderful mom like you and you to have such a wonderful son like Will.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Of course, the judgmentalism goes both ways. Don’t always assume our stare at your child’s in-public meltdown is one of disapproval. Often, we’re just sympathetic and nothing more. We don’t think you’re a bad parent.

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