The Letter I Wrote My Son When He Got an Autism Diagnosis
To my son,
I don’t know how to start, as there are a lot of things that are bothering me so much nowadays, especially from the time we learned your condition, or as it’s medically right to be called, your disorder. For a while, I tried to divert my observations into exaggerations, but I knew in my heart something wasn’t right. You’re somehow more special than I expected.
Let me come back from the day that I learned that I was pregnant with you. As was the case with your sister, I never expected you, but I dearly learned to love you from the time I knew that you were there inside me. There is nothing that I can compare to the time I heard your heartbeat. It was so strong, telling me how excited you were to finally meet me. As far as I remember, everything was pretty normal from the time I conceived you until birth. You have always been quiet, and I barely had any discomfort.
My labor with you was very short. I just needed to push a couple of times and there you were, crying too loudly because, for the first time, you were apart from me. After a few minutes, you were laid on my body and I will never, ever forget the first time I touched your small hands. You had so much hair then. And from the time you heard my voice assuring you that you’re with me, you just stopped crying.
As early as your first and second months, you were diagnosed with asthma. Most of the time, we’re visiting your doctor and you are even being hospitalized for at least a couple of days. We usually can’t easily bring you out of the house, as you can get irritated with a sudden change in weather and even the temperature of your surroundings. You don’t have any idea how much it kills me to see you in pain or having difficulty breathing. You even learned to use your nebulizer before you even learned to walk because you know that this is the only thing that can help you to lessen your discomfort.
Lately, you’ve been well. I think you’ve been coping better with your asthma, plus you are gaining weight and it’s been a while since we visited your closest friend, your pediatrician. But there is something that I’ve been discovering about you day after day… you have difficulty walking most of the time. You do stumble as if the bones in your feet are not strong enough. I haven’t heard you using any clear words except the word “Ma.” Most of the time, you make continuous and identical sounds and honestly, we can’t understand what it means. You move your head as if it’s spinning without worrying about bumping your head somewhere.
Most of the time, you play on your own. You hate attention, especially from an unfamiliar face. You even resist looking at them in their eyes. It’s been almost a year since I started looking for answers on what might be your condition and recently, after talking with different people who can help, they suspect that you might be within the spectrum. It was hard to comprehend. The first question was, did I do anything to you to be like this or is there anything that I should have done that I did not do?
I love you and I will always love you every day of my life. I will not be able to promise you paradise, as this world is full of cruelties. But I will make sure that I will be forever on your side. We will be in this together with your dad and your sister and especially God. I want you to know that you’re precious, very special in a lot of ways.
Let me tell you that every day will always be an extraordinary day to me every time I get to look into your eyes, even if you were not able to tell me anything, not even a word. But your eyes say so much, like that you do miss me during the time I am away and how much you love me. It always makes me feel so much of gratitude, the way you look into my eyes.
I will forever love you and I will do everything to help you and guide you. I know we have a long way to go. It’s just a start, but I pledge to always be with you through every part until you reach the best as you can be. I love you.
(I wrote this letter for my son, Aeron, in 2009, the time when he was diagnosed. One reason why I wrote this letter is that I believe that one day he will be able to read this. He will get a chance to be a well-functioning child and even adult.)
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