The Mighty Logo

A Day the 'Experts' Didn't Predict for My Autistic Son

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Today was a day.

I don’t even know where to begin. There is so much to tell.

How about I start with: my 19-year-old autistic son finished his first year of college, auditioned to switch his major, got accepted, and had his entire room packed when we arrived. Then, in the car, he called and spoke on the phone to the woman in HR at the local grocery store where he applied to work this summer and set up an interview for 30 minutes after we got home. After my son eagerly greeted his dog, he changed his clothes to something “more professional” and we were off again.

I walked into Customer Service with him, they told him where the woman conducting the interview was waiting and off he went while I anxiously waited in the car. Thirty-five minutes later (a long interview for my guy who struggles with social communication) he was finished. I asked if he got the job. “It wasn’t really clear. It was a lot of information to process.” Two hours after the interview, he followed up with the HR Director via email, thanked her for her time and asked if she could “clarify” if he was to arrive at training on Tuesday at 10 a.m. or if he should wait to hear back from her.

He starts his first job Tuesday.

Today was a day.

A day I spent over a decade worrying might not happen and had I believed the experts, it might not have happened. And more importantly, had my son believed them, it definitely would not have happened.

I am not autistic. I will never know how exhausting, confusing and frustrating some days can be for my son. But what I do know, to the depth of my core, is that with a little patience, understanding, acceptance and accommodations, he can prove to experts, to me and to himself that he is more than capable. He is unstoppable.

Originally published: May 12, 2021
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home