I was speaking at a conference and at the very end of my speech I said, “I would choose this same path again.” A mom in the back of the room shouted out, “Why would you choose the same path again?”
I stood there frozen while my mind was traveling fast through time from when Brandon was first born to now as an adult. It happened in a flash.
I replied, “It had been a very difficult path and at the same time while helping my son I was helping myself. I was unaware of that at the time. The path although is extremely tough at times it is also rich with treasures everywhere when you are willing and able to see them.”
I realized that if I could treat others the same way I treat Brandon with respect, understanding, patience, support, love, and acceptance for who he is, then this world would be a better place and I would be a much happier person.
Quite frankly, I would never have stayed the course if it were not for the love I have for my son. Our special needs children silently demand that we grow and change just as we want them to do.
This path is tough but the rewards for me have been tremendous. I am forever grateful to Brandon because of him I have found my calling. Through speaking, writing, and helping others along the autism and special needs trail. I know that I must walk my talk. I must be a shining example and continue to learn and grow just as my son is doing.
Six of the most important lessons I learned along the trail:
- My way is not the only way.
- Flexibility is the secret to staying young.
- Being unique and different can be beautiful.
- Listen to what people have to say even when they are silent.
- We are all doing the best we can. If we could do better we would.
- Find something good in every negative situation.