World Autism Day
I simply want to give a shout out to all the special parents taking care of special needs children, particularly those with autism. As we mark World Autism Awareness Day, I do so with pride. Our son Ross immediately comes to mind. We knew very little about autism before our son was diagnosed. What a ride it has been.
Today, we are better off for the pain. His diagnosis took us on a journey that neither of us were prepared for, but seven years later, here we are. We have had the privilege to see the world through his eyes. This has been an extraordinary experience. He says it, as he sees it. He has no time to judge others. He simply wants to make the world a better place through his artistic creations.
For a parent, hearing this diagnosis for the first time, it is devastating. We did not have the educational skills to give him what he needs to navigate the world through his lens, but we had the love. We chose to love him unconditionally through it all and we continue to treat him the same way we would treat our other kids who are main stream. (Notice I did not say normal, because all kids are normal) We spoke to him in the same manner even when he could not, or chose not to respond. The nonverbal days were tough but we discovered that he understood the language of love and touch.
He loves fashion!
I waited a long time to hear “Rossi” say the word mom. About eight years to be exact. It was worth the wait, as he calls me, “my mama”😢. However, when he is summoning me to take pictures of his art for Instagram, he calls me, “mommy”. I have learnt that it does not matter if your child does not communicate like the rest of the world. Language is not just speech, it is also love. Throughout the years we developed our own language in our household.
I am not sure if someone reading this article is struggling with your child’s autism diagnosis. I have a very special message for you. Love wins. You may feel as though you do not have what it takes, ( I sure did). Every child diagnosed with autism has a hidden genius. Instead of seeing your child as broken, start discovering what is your child’s gift.These are the most special human beings that God has put on the planet. For our son, it appears that art and design is his special talent. And in Jesus name, we will do everything in our power to let his light shine, so he can make the world a better place.
It’s not uncommon for us to be afraid of discovering someone who is different from us. But when we explore and interact with people who are different, that is how we learn. Today, I am a better woman and mother because I made it my business to see the world through the eyes of our son who has autism. I stopped trying to make him see the world through my eyes. When I tried that approach I realized that autism was one aspect of our son’s life, not his entire being.
Basia aka Slayer