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I Won't Give Up on You, My Son on the Autism Spectrum

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I won’t give up on you.

Even when the world around you would rather you be somewhere else. Away and hidden, or left to be unseen.

Even when the schools do not have a place for you to thrive because the spaces, places, and tasks do not match your abilities or talents.

Even when the therapists themselves struggle, or do not know how to help you.

I won’t give up on you.

Even when governments and those with the power to change things do not or will not because they do not understand you, or do not believe that you deserve help.

Even when family and friends have forgotten about you or have lost hope in you.

Even when I’ve become so tired and angry that I can’t seem to do more for you or get things changed the way they should be.

Even when 50K of your friends in your province sit idle on lists for services that include medically necessary treatments, therapies, respite programs, and mental health supports.

I won’t give up on you.

Even when people stare at you for twirling your fingers, for pacing back and forth, for staring at the dancing dust in a sunlit room, or for watching the excitement of the store door opening and closing.

Even if people glare with disgust at you, exclude you from places, and say things to you in anger for things you cannot understand or do not mean to do.

Even when you sit on the ground to calm yourself down.

Even when you cry and yell because the words and meaning just don’t come the way you want them to.

I won’t give up on you.

Even when you won’t sleep because the night becomes day and the day becomes too difficult to face.

Even when you become so afraid to venture outdoors because of fears and experiences you have endured.

Even when people say that I should discipline you more.

Even when people tell me I should consider finding your forever home now, because you may never be able to live alone.

I won’t give up on you.

Because now, dear child, we have become “us” instead of you and me.

Because your happiness is mine too.

Because you are my teacher now, instead of I, yours.

I won’t give up on you.

Originally published: January 28, 2022
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