To My Daughter With Autism, From Your Proud Dad
Daddy wants to write you a letter and say thank you.
Thank you for asking questions.
Thank you for adapting to and embracing your autism diagnosis.
Thank you for being proud of who you are.
Thank you for teaching me to see the world differently.
Last weekend we played together in the city — thousands of people around, noise, lights, sand. It was hard for you. We held hands and embraced this adventure together. Remember the fun we had? You controlling the fireworks and swimming at the beach. We walked through the shops and enjoyed plain cheese pizza for dinner.
You wore your headphones and brought sensory toys to help when you became overwhelmed. I’m proud of you for trying new things. I think it helped you heaps.
You make my days fun, princess. I go to bed each day not complaining about the lack of sleep, a new stain on my floor or even that a week’s worth of groceries was used in the backyard for play.
I fall asleep grateful — grateful my life is full of adventures, laughing and sneaky cuddles. The cuddles are my favorite. Thank you for random cuddles; I know you don’t like them too much, but they are so special to me, and I treasure each one.
Thank you for constantly trying. We know that going outside is hard, reading people is hard and living with five others at times is hard, but we tackle this together.
This year has been busy, and you’ve been bombarded with doctors, therapy sessions, medication and routines. It’s been exhausting and tough, and we both wanted to quit, although nearly one year on we are both stronger. Home is a safe place, a place it’s always OK to experiment, test theories and if needed, melt down. No judgment there — just unconditional love and acceptance.
I remember your plan at your new school. You made up a way to explain your autism to your friends. At the point of introduction, you apologized and stated you might say things that may upset them. “I’m loud and sometimes can be rude.” I was so proud; that was a very grown-up decision to make. Did you notice this choice has made school so much easier this year and you have so many friends? Well done!
Lastly, thank you for the laughs. You make me laugh every day. You’re literal; you see the world your way.
Keep trying, keep dreaming and keep proving the others wrong.
Love you sweetie,
Follow this journey on My ASD Princess.