1. It's not a thing.
I thought it was before it was a label tossed on my son, but it's not.
2. My child is normal.
He's not the r-word, he's not handicapped, he's not special needs, he's just a little kid with blue eyes and a bright smile that does have extra special needs and autism.
3. It's not a death sentence.
Cancer is something we should detest, but autism, I don't think so.
4. It's a puzzle piece.
Each of us make up a perfect puzzle and of course, our pieces are arranged uniquely to form a portrait. The portrait is never one thing all by its lonesome self, the autism, like your past, is simply a component.
5. I struggle to say the word autism.
If I had known it wasn't so terrible, maybe it wouldn't have been such a superficial blow to the soul. I wish I had been paying more careful attention.
6. It's not a personality deficit.
Amos is hysterical in every sense of the word. He may ignore you, but the word donut beckons him every time and tonight as I dried my hair, he opened the shower door to shout hello and his rendition of bye while giggling and squealing.
7. The diagnosis felt like a sucker punch.
I know, here I am trying to downplay the negative because it's the truth, but the world treats circles as the best option and then, you have a square and quite honestly, he seems pretty cool too.
8. Autism belongs to the whole family.
Yes, it really does. We must take ownership, all of us, if we are to manage this life that has spilled us onto an untraditional path. We are all affected and what that means, I'm not quite sure yet, but we shall not ignore the lovely elephant in the room.
9. I have no idea what autism means to us now or in the future.
My words are a shot in the dark, quite honestly. Not three weeks into this journey and I'm still blindfolded, stumbling in the dark narrow corridor, but my feet aren't quite so heavy now and the voices that beckon me are so encouraging.
10. Be that voice.
I need honesty and kindness and listening ears and gentle hugs and belly laughter and normalcy and acknowledgement of this new and different life. The voice of friendship brings joyful solace.