My Son With Autism Is Not Just a Number
Another summer has passed.
And so has my one-year “Blog-o-versary.” Sharing my son’s journey for the past 13 months has been hard, happy, sad, tearful, angry, joyful, grateful and damn eye-opening. No longer am I in mourning of the child I thought I should have. No more “I got ripped off” feelings. Shameful, I know, but I felt it, and even now I will own those feelings with no regret in my heart. Years ago, when I had no idea what autism was, when he would melt down in public my face would burn while all of the eyes were on him. I could hear others thinking. I heard those that chose to voice their disapproval out loud. “He needs a spanking” or “Terrible parent.” It was my fear to be “that parent.”
I had no clue what was happening inside him, what he saw, what he felt. Extreme sensory overload. Fear. Anxiety. Autism. This was my third child — wasn’t I supposed to be some sort of expert by now? Not even close. Autism had claimed my child — my beautiful boy — and kept him in a death grip. It has been our mission to loosen that grip ever since, and every day we come a little closer to understanding what is happening in his world. He is 1 in 68, according to the current stats.
Wait a minute. My kid’s not just a number. His name is Timothy. He is 6 years old and going into grade one tomorrow. Here he is so you can say hello!
Our home may have train tracks throughout the kitchen. It may have crayon scribbles in the hallways and random cards and pictures taped to mirrors and doors. Our cupboards are stocked with microwave popcorn and apple juice boxes because that is what Timothy eats (really). He may be 1 in 68 to everyone else, but he is 1 in 1,000,000 to us.
Our lives are wacky, messy and downright hard — I mean can’t-take-another-day hard. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
This post originally appeared on The Book of Timothy.