How I Experience Faith, Hope and Love as I Parent a Child on the Autism Spectrum

My son received his autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis when he was 3.5 years old. Three and half isn’t a terribly late age to get an autism diagnosis, but it isn’t early, either. You might wonder, “As a speech language pathologist, why did you wait so long to get a diagnosis?”

Hope. I waited because of hope.

I hoped he was just delayed. 

I hoped he would talk soon.

I hoped the right therapies would rid him of his sensory processing problems.

I hoped that, with diligent work at home combined with therapy, he would make progress. That progress would make the “autism-like” symptoms disappear.

I hoped it wasn’t autism.

I hoped because I hadn’t grown and learned yet.

You see, I saw the red flags. I knew his communication skills weren’t age appropriate. I knew he didn’t play like my older son. He had belly issues and didn’t sleep well. I knew there was something. 

For a while, I didn’t know what that “something” was, it was just a difference of some sort. I clung to all of this positives with everything in me, just hoping it wasn’t my greatest fear: autism.

By the time we took him for the official diagnosis, I knew. Going to the psychologist was just a formality we needed to do in order to get him the services that he needed.

My baby had autism, and you know what?

His autism diagnosis wasn’t the end of the world like I thought it would be. 

Five years into this parenting thing, (and just nine official months as an autism mom), I don’t know what I was so afraid of. I have two wonderful, beautiful, smart little boys. One just happens to have autism.

Yes, my son has autism, but he is amazing.

Yes, things are sometimes more difficult.

Yes, our lives look a little different than I had planned years ago.

Yes, he has to work so hard to make it in this neurotypical world, but as his family, we are right here every step of the way.

He is just different, but not an ounce less.

Do you want to know something else?

I still have hope, but not just that, I have faith.

I have faith that he will continue to make progress.

I have faith that our family can make the most out of this autism journey that lies before us.

I have faith that he will have the happiest life.

Your child’s autism diagnosis might be the end of the dream you had for your family’s life, but it also the beginning of a new journey.

Have faith.

Don’t give up home.


Follow this journey at The SLP Mom.

Getty image by Koldunov

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Necessary Skills My Son With Autism Will Be Practicing This Summer

Last summer, my children somehow thought summer meant they didn’t have to do anything but exactly what they wanted. Where they got that idea from, I don’t know. Our summers have never been that way. We do take time to have fun and adventures, but it isn’t, “I get to stay in my pj’s all [...]

What My Son's Autism Diagnosis Has Meant for His Siblings

Five years ago my son, who was 4 at the time, was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and generalized anxiety disorder. My mind raced with speculation and anticipation as to how my child’s life would be altered from that moment on. I worried about about the difficulties ahead of him and mourned the normalcy his life [...]

My Child Has a Disability, but I'm Not Special

We aren’t special. You may be reading this because you find yourself holding the title of “special needs parent.” I have some things I would like to share with you. FACT: Parenting is hard.   Let’s be honest, I have a hard time deciding what pants I want to wear each day… and I also have to dress my [...]
Doctor meeting patient and taking notes.

When My Autism Was Misdiagnosed as Anxiety

Four things happened in my life when I was 19 years old, all in rapid succession. My mother died of lung cancer. I got pneumonia and was hospitalized for three days. I had epileptic seizures, the first and only (knock on wood) seizures of my adult life. And just after my time in the hospital, [...]