A Letter to My Son With Autism
Hey Timothy, it’s Mom here.
It’s September 13, 2014, and as I type, you bounce beside me; your eyes are filled with a joy only you can understand. You’re 6 years old. You like pizza, jelly donuts (only the red jam) and Batman.
You seem happy today. This makes my heart full and warm. When you smile you make everyone around you smile! The days when you’re so full of angst and distress are so much more painful and hard to watch. I know you don’t mean to hurt me when you strike out in anger. What makes you feel that way? I have always wanted to know so I could make it stop. It’s my job as your mommy to protect you and keep you from hurting. But you can’t tell me. No one can. We can only guess through pictures and trial and error. Some days, magic happens and you shout out new words. Often you’re not quite sure what they mean or they’re said in the wrong context, but you are trying hard!
I know that life isn’t easy for you. Many of your peers seem miles ahead of you. While you’re toilet training and learning to dress and feed yourself, they’re playing competitive sports and video games.
While you’re learning to tolerate having others in your personal space, they’re wrestling with each other — but not with girls (eeeeeew!). Most 6-year-old boys think girls have cooties (little invisible bugs) while you’re learning to discern between girls and boys.
You tried a new food this year which puts us into the double digits of foods you’ll eat. Rice Krispies squares! Aren’t they good? I hope you’ll continue your brave quest through the food jungle, just like Batman would. He’s one of your favorite superheroes right now.
Mostly I just want you to know you belong to a family that loves you very much. I bet all of the therapies you have to go through are tough and you don’t like me for making you do them. Timothy, we’re doing this because we hope they’ll help you to communicate with us better. Think of Batman. Autism has sort of put an invisible forcefield around you, and you’re trapped inside. You need to keep being strong like Batman and try to figure a way out of this forcefield.
You may not be able to. That’s OK. We’ll figure it out together.
Love always and no matter what,
This post originally appeared on The Book of Timothy.