When my 3 1/2 year old son was diagnosed with autism, I spent the following weeks reading books and crying myself to sleep. I didn’t understand what the Doctor saw that made him autistic.
I feared the A-word.
I saw autism as an attack– an insult on my beautiful boy. I realize now that what I saw was Autism Speaks’ autism. The autism according to Suzanne Wright’s “Call for Action” that causes “families to split up, go broke and struggle through their days and years.” The autism that causes us to lose our children.
I kept expecting to see something different in his eyes– like a light that extinguishes. But it never happened. We didn’t lose him to autism. We found ourselves.
His autism taught us to be more patient. His autism taught us to relish in the good moments. His autism taught us to adapt, be more flexible and see where the road takes us.
We may have had some missteps along the way, but we have never been lost. We are exactly where we are meant to be.
In the years since those early, fear-filled days of Finn’s diagnosis, I have found joy and hope. Clarity and confidence instead of fear and doubt. Instead of attacking autism, we have embraced it. Autism isn’t something about Finn that we need to change. It was something about us that needed to change.
We see the world through his lens now.
And the view is beautiful.
This is autism.
This post was written as a part of the “This is Autism Flash Blog” and is in response to Suzanne Wright’s misrepresentation of autism in her “Call to Action.” I am honored to be part of such a wonderful community. Together, we can change the world!