“I am more than Autism”
This is what I would think my son would say to me if he could speak. As a parent with a child with autism it’s easy to only focus on that one single bit of who your child is. It’s always in the fore front, in his inability to speak or his preference to watch the same 10 minutes of a show over and over.
But it’s so important to step back and look at the whole canvas of who your child is. You can’t properly see the full picture if your nose is pressed up against it. You need to step back to see all the bits and pieces that make the picture whole. The cheeky sense of humour, the love of a good tight hug. The way his face lights up when he sees it’s you picking him up from school. The way he can hear a song just one time and “sing” it perfectly. And the way that no matter how much you feel you might have screwed up as a parent, he’s there with unconditional love.
Today is autism awareness day. But I’d prefer that everyone be aware that my son is so much more than his autism. He works so hard every single day to fit into the mold that society thinks he should, constantly having to fight his desire to do things that are deemed “too autistic”. I can’t even imagine how hard that must be for him. He’s challenged every day with trying to communicate his needs to those that care for him. Imagine living in a world where you don’t speak the same language!
So for today and every day I want everyone to be aware that my son is an amazing individual who is funny, caring, sarcastic and loving. He has hopes and dreams and desires just like every other person on the planet. He just also happens to have autism.