Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Autism Is

Last Saturday I heard a mother explaining to her children about people with special needs. Just moments before an older woman and her daughter with Down Syndrome had been waiting in line for the dressing room. After they left a little child started asking questions. The mother was doing her best to answer. One older child spoke up and said, "So people with disabilities are different?" The mom replied, "Oh no honey, they're just like you and me. They are just special". I cringed.  THEY ARE DIFFERENT. And that is OK.

My daughter is different. Sometimes it is a beautiful different, other times it is a devastating different. I don't want people to treat her UNFAIRLY. Yet, they need to know she is different and needs to be treated differently than most people. Speak softly, rub her arms when you talk to her, walk away when she pushes you off, let her come to you, don't take it personally, remember she is different and can't socialize the same as other children. Autism is different.

Autism is frustrating.
Autism is death by bathing.
Autism is seeing the beauty in the abstract.
Autism is laughing at her own thoughts.
Autism is routines, routines, routines.
Autism is bending the rules.
Autism is letting her cry it out in her room. She's safe.
Autism is a stressed out mother.
Autism is a feeling helpless father.
Autism is rough days, nights and life.
Autism is swaddling her. Protecting comes first.
Autism is quick to forgive.
Autism is an intense game of charades. Remember, no words.
Autism is never losing her favorite toys.
Autism is happiness in milestones.
Autism is a precocious IEP.
Autism is remembering to breathe...and exhale.
Autism is she doesn't like me today.
Autism is she'll love me forever.
Autism is her having a quite zone.
Autism is apologizing at play dates. She didn't mean to hurt.
Autism is ignoring judging looks.
Autism is siblings who love her...always.
Autism is jealous a jealous sister and brother. They want her toys.
Autism is knowing that imperfection is perfection.
Autism is rejoicing. She started walking.
Autism is screaming. No talking yet.
Autism is guessing what she wants. 2 hours later...success.
Autism is lying, "I wouldn't change a thing".
Autism is this is our life, our daughter.
Autism is accepting what we can't change.
Autism is letting myself cry. This is my battle too.
Autism is part of our life, part of her.
Autism is different.

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