My son was born with dark brown hair and deep blue eyes with eyes lashes that women spend hundreds of dollars trying to duplicate. He was the perfect baby. He was gorgeous and rarely cried.
However, as he grew older, I began to realize that something wasn’t quite right. He didn’t reach developmental milestones when he should and by two he wasn’t talking. I started taking him to specialists but it wasn’t until Michael was 6 that he was diagnosed with Autism.
I was devastated. The doctor’s told me that my little boy would never lead a normal life. He would never have a regular job, never live independently, never go to college, get married and have the family I dreamed of for him.
One night as I was sitting there pretending I was feeling sorry for my son but truly feeling sorry for myself, I flipped the TV to a special on autism. I sat there crying in my self-pity and Michael walked into the room. He sat down on the floor and began to watch the show. This was very unusual. Michael was never interested in TV unless it was commercials. He sat there for a long time and towards the end of the show, he looked up at me and said, “That’s what I have isn’t it, Mommy? I have autism.” My heart fell into a million pieces as I said quietly, “Yes”.
“Well,” Michael said, “that’s OK because I’m still your Michael,” and he got up and trotted out of the room.
It was at that moment that I realized he was right. It didn’t matter what label the doctors gave him or what challenges we faced. He was my little boy, my Michael, and together we would make it through this.
That is exactly what we have done. Together with God`s help, my son has made incredible progress. His diagnosis has been changed to Asperger’s Syndrome. He is fully main-streamed in school and has an active social life. He’s a freshman in high school and plans to go to college and become a pediatrician. He faces challenges every day of trying to understand the social complexities of this world and trying to fit in. Math is incredibly difficult for him but reading and science are his things. He reads constantly and has an amazing innate understanding of biology. He is my hero.
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism experience.