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Why I Owe My Son With Autism a Huge Apology

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Dear Son,

I owe you a huge apology. In fact, I’ve even whispered this apology in your ear a few times in the past several months.

I’m so sorry for doubting you.

When you were diagnosed with autism a little over a year ago, I doubted what you would be able to do. Honestly, despite you proving me wrong… I still doubt sometimes.

I never thought you would be almost completely potty trained at 3 and a half years old. That’s huge. Plenty of typically developing kids have trouble with potty training.

I never thought you would be comfortable doing all the things you’ve done so far this year. I’ve sheltered you so much, trying to protect you, but more so because I doubted. Your progress has been amazing and I am so proud of all you have accomplished.

You went to the beach for the first time and absolutely killed it. You didn’t mind the sand or the heat. In fact, you didn’t want to leave.

You enjoyed a trip to a crowded mall and loved every minute.

You are babbling and trying to figure out language.

Your receptive language and overall communication has improved.

Your curiosity is blooming.

Your social skill have improved.

Your iPad skills are amazing.

You can swim. You are still a toddler. You are nonverbal. You have autism.  No one taught you. You didn’t receive the first lesson. You can almost swim the full length of our swimming pool both under and above water — no flotation devices. Just pure, unbridled, determination. The only help we have provided is praise and encouragement. You did the rest.

I’m so proud of you, Drake. You’ve taught me more on this journey than I will ever teach you. Yes, we have a long way to go, but the progress in just one year has been astonishing. Your team of therapists have worked so hard to help you gain confidence and independence. More importantly, you have worked hard.

I can’t wait to see what you will do with your life. You have proven that you can do anything, and I’m proud of you. As your mother I am your biggest fan. Forgive me for ever thinking for one second that you can’t or won’t be able to do whatever you want in this life. Keep proving me wrong, son. Keep proving me wrong.

I need your encouragement far more than you need mine.



Follow this journey on Walking With Drake.

Originally published: August 14, 2015
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