Dear Adult Autistic Friends,
Thank you for debunking myths about being an autistic adult for me. Sahara (my 7 year old daughter) has gone from catatonic to achieving daily milestones… and I feel hearing your stories and befriending you has helped me set the bar high for this amazing child (when professionals said to institutionalize her).
Traditional therapy and educators didn’t instill compassion and empathy in her. Nor did it teach her to strive for self actualization… which she WILL achieve some day. I have done that (along with father and sister.) Together we have worked day and night to see that she have the highest quality of life. Daily we meditate and focus on what our goals are… not the fears and struggles. If we got caught up in all of the woes than we would have little progress.
I have found gifts wrapped around this journey… and each of you have helped me achieve this. Yes, I know there are struggles… anyone who has read this blog knows I understand the raw side of autism. But, what I don’t understand is how you set limits on what your autistic child will do 20 years from now. How do I know she won’t get married? Or have a fulfilling career? Or travel on speaking engagements about her autism journey?
I don’t… like I told the psych, “We don’t have a crystal ball”.
But, ironically… the extreme opposite is that I also get frustrated when outsiders talk about the gifts of autism… cause they do not know that raw emotional pain we go through and how much harder our kids have to work at seemingly simple things. I get offended by their assumption that they know more about this journey than us.
They do not see how hard I have worked to pull this child out of catatonia… when told we couldn’t. How my persistence and attachment parenting taught her compassion, emotion and empathy… when told she couldn’t. How we had to scrape pennies to get natural remedies… when they told us they wouldn’t work.
I have worked hard at giving her the best chance at a life she so chooses… because she deserves that and so much more. And she has worked even harder to meet all of our demands on her young being.
Yes, like I always say, we have come a long way… but we have even longer way to go. But today I am optimistic that she will be a productive citizen and have all the opportunities her NT sister has. I know she will always see life through different colored glasses, but she is exceptional beyond the label and limitations of autism… as are all of you.
Thank You for your compassion, understanding, encouragement and friendship… it has helped empower me as a mother of a young girl on the spectrum.