My Son Lives In His Own Little World. Here’s Why I Envy Him.


Sometimes my son has this look on his face like he sees things we don’t.

He tilts his head to the side and grins softly, as if heaven is playing a song just for him. He twirls his fingers to the music. Early in the morning I can hear him over the monitor in his room making sounds and expressions none of us can understand. I think he is talking to God in a language only the two of them know.

Sometimes I think Jon Alex sees angels. Sometimes I think he hears the music coming from heaven’s chorus. Sometimes I think he talks to God… and God talks back to him.

Sometimes I get jealous of his world.

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Oftentimes we describe our children with autism as “living in their own world.” Their senses are overly acute in many instances to touch, sound, sights, smells and the tactile evidence of the world around them. And they can seem far more interested in their world than in ours.

Maybe they really aren’t living “in their own world.” Maybe they are living in the world as it was originally created.

My son Jon Alex lives in a world of unconditional love and acceptance. In his world grace abounds, loves triumphs over all, and contentment can often be found with the simplest of things. His world is one of purity, simplicity, innocence, and goodness.

I’m jealous of his world.

His world isn’t polluted by envy, jealousy, pride and hatred. His world is enticing, even beckoning. His world puts an equal value on all people, seeing them through the eyes of significance, kindness, and human dignity.

Maybe we are the ones living in our own little world.

Have you ever been mesmerized by a child with autism and wondered what they were thinking, or what was going on in their mind? Have you ever looked at that child and wondered if they were thinking the same thing about you?

When you have been puzzled by their behavior or baffled by their routine, have you ever wondered if they feel the same way about your behavior or routines? When you have struggled with their personality traits that can seem peculiar, have you ever wondered if they feel the same way about some of your personality traits that seem so peculiar to them?

Maybe instead of focusing on drawing him into my world, I need to boldly venture into his world with expectation. I know I have learned far more from my son than he has learned from me. I realize now he’s nothing like me and yet he is everything I want to be.

Maybe I am the one who needs healing.

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