My son has autism. What a powerful sentence. Utterly naked in its truthfulness.
My 4 year old son has always been different. My husband and I spoke to each other all the time about how he wasn't like his older brother. However, we did not realize that it was something to be diagnosed. He was who he was. We delt with the issues as they came up and lived our lives in relative happiness.
When our pediatrician referred us for a psychological asessment we weren't exactly sure what to expect. He was three years old at the time. I did a lot of research while we waited the nine months for the appointment with the psychologist. By about month 4 I knew we were looking at something on the autism spectrum. So when they told us their results we were not surprised.
I did go through the normal emotions you hear about. I was angry...why us? I had huge guilt. Did I do this to him? I was sad and cried in my husbands arms at night. A bit of denial mixed in there just for fun.
Then one day it hit me. I love my child. He's wonderful. He's bright, energetic and hilarious to be around. He has his difficulties but what child doesn't? It finally occured to me that this could be ok. Austim is not a four letter word.
So we're on a bunch of waiting list for therapies I'm not really convinced will be helpful and we go on living. Every moment together becomes a teaching opportunity. Every time he learns something new we celebrate. Every experience is treasured.
It's tough. I still have bad moments where I wonder what his future holds. I have days where I feel I can't cope with the realities of parenting a child with special needs. But those moments pass and we survive those days. As a family we rally around and support each other. We remind ourselves that this disorder is not fatal. At least we still have our child with us. Losing him would be the worst thing that could ever happen.
Our future is bright and promising. This beautiful child grows and reaches new heights every day. Yeah, he's not typical. But is that really such a terrible thing?