For many parents of children of autism, much of their year is fraught with frustration, setbacks, disappointments and letdowns. Dealing with autism can be an emotionally draining experience, but as we learn to cope and manage with our child’s condition, we can also come to realize that we have much to be thankful for, particularly on a day like today.
Every life is a gift and in that gift are the special treasures, giftings and unique characteristics that make individuals with autism so very special.
When our child was officially diagnosed with autism at the age of three, our world came crashing down. The depression, anger and despair we felt at the time were too overwhelming to put into words. As a family, like so many others like us, we went through the "why me?" phase, shaking our faith to the core in the process.
However, as the years have passed, we’ve seen our now-nine-year-old son grow into an incredibly talented and gifted individual. He may not be "normal" by society’s standards, but he is an amazing and bright young man and if given the chance, I would not change a hair on his head.
This Thanksgiving, it’s our hope that all parents who have been touched by autism can truly see through the obstacles and challenges and realize that our children are unique and special in their own way and it’s those qualities that help make the world a better place. Craig Nicholls, John E. Robison, James Durbin, Tim Burton, Daniel Tammet and Jacob Barnett (and many, many others) are all individuals on the autism spectrum that testify to this truth.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.