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My Children on the Autism Spectrum Are Unique and Amazing

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I have two kids with autism. They are both so different but also similar in so many ways.

Our days have their ups and downs, but some things are the same. The schedules that give my son his security and ease his anxiety. The rewards and instant gratifications for small things done, things that may seem trivial to some but huge to us. The rigidity of how things go, the talking about the same thing over and over. The going to multiple stores looking for the only Dino nuggets my son will eat. Blowing bubbles in his sensory room, and laughing when he swings.

It’s meltdowns when something isn’t how it’s supposed to be. It trying to step into his world and be what he needs, comforting him and make him feel secure. It’s weighted blankets that help him calm and watching him find the smallest space he can squeeze into to feel secure.

It’s trying to understand them. Trying to help in any way I can. It’s going into their world, and not always expecting them to conform to my ways.

It’s my daughter who’s a teen now, still learning how to read people and live in a world that’s confusing to her at times. It’s her going into her own world and getting lost in it and her areas of interest.

It’s her beautiful smile, the kindness she has for others. Her empathy and genuine concern for all things, people and animals. It’s watching her draw, and the pride she takes in it. It’s her using her own voice to get what she needs.

It’s the progress she has made in school. It’s the independence she has gained. It’s her walking to each class independently, it’s her riding a big bus for the first time this year, it’s her remembering to wear her choir shirt on a certain day. It’s also the hard days, the meltdowns, the stress and overwhelm.

It’s rigidity and obsession. It’s talking about one thing over and over. It’s her drawing eight hours a day and refusing to do anything else. It’s me worrying about her adult years.

It’s watching her sing a solo for choir beautifully when a few years ago she could hardly go to music class. It’s listening to her talk about going to college. It’s never giving up, it’s always striving, it’s watching her surpass all expectations they had for her when she was diagnosed at age 7.

It’s her becoming an amazing young woman. It’s watching her become her biggest advocate. It’s watching her shine.

My children are both unique and amazing. They both have autism, they are different and that’s why it’s called a spectrum. It’s a beautiful spectrum, and it’s what makes each individual unique. I’m proud to be their mom. I couldn’t ask for better kids.

Autism is not our whole life, it’s a part of it and we embrace it for what it is and what it brings to our home. Autism is a piece of our puzzle. I’m thankful for what it has taught me, what it has shown me about love.

We are blessed.

three children with arms around each other, standing in front of boulder outdoors
The author’s children

Editor’s note: This story has been published with permission from the author’s children.

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Originally published: May 10, 2017
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