The Mighty Logo

Why I'm Not Celebrating Autism This Month

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

For me, Autism Awareness Month is a time of celebration. But I’m not celebrating that fact that my son was diagnosed with autism. That day was not one full of joy and happiness. Today I’m not celebrating autism. Today I celebrate my son, Brandon, and all his accomplishments. He works so hard every day to be self-sufficient, independent and to communicate.


Imagine the frustration this little boy has when he can’t tell me when he wants something, that he needs something, that he’s not feeling well or that he’s simply excited. For example, when Brandon wants me to push him on the swing, he has to walk all the way across the backyard to come grab my hand, walk me back over and put my hand on the swing. Imagine if every time you needed something, you had to walk all the way over to someone, take their hand, lead them to what you want to tell them and hope they get what you’re asking for.

If Brandon wants something to eat, the only way he can tell me what he’s craving is if he can see it in the pantry and put my hand on it. He’s melted down so many times because I can’t for the life of me figure out what he’s looking for.  He can’t say “gummies,” so, if he really wants a packet of gummies and they’re hiding somewhere in the pantry, he just won’t get them.

March was an awful month for Brandon. He was despicable. Unbeknownst to me, he had an ear infection and ruptured ear drum. He was in pain and uncomfortable for weeks, and I hadn’t the faintest clue there was anything wrong with him. No wonder he would break into full meltdown mode without warning.

I celebrate this boy and all others who are affected by autism who have to work so much harder to do things we take for granted. You’re determined. You’re courageous. You’re strong.

This post originally appeared on Ramblings of a Special Mom.

Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

Originally published: April 2, 2015
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