When I first starting thinking about the possibility that my son may have autism, I would immediately push those thoughts out of my mind. I would convince myself I was overreacting. It was very difficult to simply think about it. And when we received the official diagnosis, it was unimaginable. It was surreal.
Therefore I understand other people’s first reactions when they first hear that our son is autistic. Their response is usually an “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” I understand this reaction. I’m assuming that would be my reaction as well. To be sorry. To feel sorry for them. I didn’t know this but when someone receives this type of diagnosis, one has to go through a grieving process. I realized I had to grieve the son that I would not have. I had to accept that I would never have the typical son who says mama before he’s two years old. The typical son who wants to play outside in his bike. I had to go through a grieving process and let him go and accept the son that I have. This process consisted of anger, then sadness, and in the end acceptance.
This is why I understand when someone tells me how sorry they are that my son has autism. But the truth is there really isn’t anything to be sorry about. Yes – he has problems with sensory issues. But he doesn’t have problems with social pressures. Yes he still cannot talk but he communicates in many other ways. Yes he is not the typical kid that we all see in television shows, but which kid is typical? Which kid doesn’t have behavior problems or social problems? I hear my friends talk about their kids and the struggles that they go thru.
The thing that I’d like people to understand is that maybe our lives aren’t normal. Maybe our autistic household may seem different from the one that you are used to. But that doesn’t make us any less. Different is not always bad. So please, don’t feel sorry for us. We are so blessed to have this monkey with us. We are so blessed to have such a beautiful loving little boy as part of our little family. He loves to give hugs, he loves to give kisses. He loves to love.
This morning as he was getting ready to go to school, he stopped me and just wanted to hug me. What a beautiful way to start my day. 🙂