Every once in a while, I am reminded of the obvious –
My son has autism.
It may seem strange, but I honestly forget sometimes.
In the beginning, it was impossible to forget. It was the first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes in the morning.
“He has autism.”
It would drone on in my head all day long.
“My baby has autism.”
Before I would drift off to sleep at night, I would often let my mind wander back to when he was a baby. And in those memories, I would have to admit to myself that it was obvious even then.
“My son has autism. He had it then, and he has it now.”
My Son Has Autism
Now, years have passed.
My day to day confusion and fear of the unknown, has slowly been replaced by therapies, books about Sensory Processing Disorder, routines to help with transitions, and back up plans for ‘bad days’. The nights of crying along with him, as he banged his head on the wall and raged, have been replaced with a low, comforting tone and sleepy, repetitive words, offering solace, grace and love, over and over again.
We go through our days now with the familiar. Autism has become our normal.
And yet, every once in a while, it still hits me.
Yesterday, my sweet boy walked down the street to get our mail from the mailbox. It was beautiful outside, so I waited for him, taking in the fresh air and soft breeze.
I watched him walk. “He limps now,” I thought to myself. The arthritis in his hip causes constant pain.
Then, as he hobbled along, he started stimming a little – mumbling to himself and nodding his head to one side, over and over.
Watching him was like seeing him through the eyes of a stranger. It hit me, as it has before and it will again.
He has autism.
And autism is a part of who he is. Without it, my son just wouldn’t be my son. He wouldn’t be the child God, in his loving care, has entrusted to me.
My eyes filled with tears that I quickly blinked away. He has autism, yes.
He also has my heart.
For more support and encouragement:
It is exactly the book I wish was around our first year, post diagnosis. It is the book I was searching for, but never found.
It is a compilation of all of my posts that address the day to day realities of parenting that first year, with a bit of new content as well.
This book is about our hearts, as parents of children with a new spectrum diagnosis.
Order your copy of Everyday Autism here.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.