Goes Hand In Hand

Whether I’m in an IEP meeting or a doctor’s office, hearing my son’s name and autism in the same sentence never sits well with me. It’s not easy hearing about what I see everyday. I feel there’s no need for a repeat of something I am well aware of. But I do listen, knowing there’s not a period after autism unless we put one there. Callie’s not defined by the diagnosis or his struggles. Nor is he defined by the questionable day to day and future that seems to be reiterated when sitting across from individuals who see no further than the black and white printed before them. Similar is prejudgment from people who do not know my son at all. At a glance, he’s immediately boxed into “weird”, “sick”, “pity” or “misbehaved” without reading one page of our story. In both instances, all one sees is the outer. Beyond that, everything is blurry or goes dark. Some people don’t want to take the time to get to know a person on the spectrum….not even to make an acquaintance. They equate autism with meaning “no ability” and no hope. I realize that seeing a person with a different normal than yourself can be intimidating, especially when the “what’s wrong” is something you are unfamiliar with. For others, seeing past it is a challenge, particularly when hope has been a lost art in chapters of their own book. They see accomplishments (big or small) as merely something that just happened and not stepping stones forward that we should expect or bank on. But even though my son’s name and autism appears to go hand in hand, no matter if the dialogue is with me or in my peripheral, I see a silent conversation going on represented by people’s fixated eyes on my son, I know who my son is. He’s absolutely amazing! And yes, our breaking moments come and go, but that does not change nor erase the incredible gift he is. It only validates the star of endurance in him and further allows him to come out shining beyond the unlit all around him.

Thanks for listening,

Portia

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8 thoughts on “Goes Hand In Hand

  1. I thank God I found your blog. I finally don’t feel alone. I feel like someone understands my struggle. My son is only in 1st grade but I’m already dealing with the same issues with the IEP meetings. May God continue to bless you and keep you and your son strong.

    • Thank you Stephanie for reading my post. As I told another autism parent, I feel parents who have children on the spectrum are in this together. Days can feel a little bit lighter knowing someone really gets it.

    • Thank you for reading my post. I feel parents who have children on the spectrum are in this together. Days can feel a little bit lighter knowing someone, with a similar journey, understands.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. My son is 27 yrs old and nonverbal. It’s good to meet another Mother who is positive and a constant warrior for her son.

  3. Thankyou for writing what most of us only think about but are never able to put to words. It’s a sad feeling of loneliness but knowing you share it with more than just yourself makes some days bare-able. My son will be 14 next month and we have made tremendous strides yet still have a long journey ahead of us –my quote “find the joy in the journey” –then just let a glimpse of a smile break through and it seems to heal the mind and heart —the recharge needed to make it through those trying days . Today your words put that smile in my heart and I will tuck them safely away and remember them when I need to be strong.
    Thank you

    • Thank you Luanne for reading my post. My son is 13 and some moments are almost unbearable. However, having fellow travelers on the same road…different journeys…but ones who can identify with your day to day – does help a little.

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