Sunday, July 27, 2014

Autism Awareness

I must have accidentally erased this post,so I'll have to write it again.
As the mother of two sons on the autistic spectrum ,autism is never far from my mind. When my oldest son was diagnosed with autism I fell into a despond I don't think I've ever climbed back out of. My sons are beautiful,funny,sweet and I love and accept them as they are. I know,I know they are special with different unusual abilities etc.etc.,but I can't help the fact that their experiences with life are limited by their disabilities; I know I'm in Holland not Italy, and that they give me a love and joy that differently abled people don't possess. I also can't help feeling sad and a bit jealous as the kids of friends and family members grow up without the difficulties my sons encounter .Difficulties we did everything in our power to overcome for the past 25 years,with limited results.At 25 my younger son cannot speak to communicate his desires, and my older son at nearly 27 wants nothing more than to be "normal", like the people he sees around him. I know they are not junkies or convicts,and that they live their lives without self pity,but with enormous frustration. Imagine having to hold somebody's hand to walk out the door,or seeing other people do things effortlessly, that are so hard for you to articulate, never mind do, of never being able  to express properly anything you want to say, of constantly needing reassurance that you're okay,  everything will be all right.(Okay we all feel that last one, but I don't think as desperately). My sons are heroes, who live in a world that was not built for them,and they do so with an unconscious courage.
I have to say at this point that I have had the pleasure of watching my daughter grow into the gracious,beautiful, intelligent young woman that she is, with all the usual milestones,complicated by growing up with her brothers, who she loves, respects and is generally patient with.( They are her annoying older brothers.)Still I can't help but wish sometimes that they too had the opportunities she and so many more of us enjoy.


  1. I love your entire family. I can't wait to meet the rest of them. I can't possibly know the struggles you've endured with this, but I empathize. Having never felt as though I fit into this world the way others seem to be able to, effortlessly, I tend to have enormous empathy and insight into those that have difficulties, even when their difficulties are far more profound than any I think I might have. As far as the parents and siblings of these amazing and differently gifted kids, I salute you. You are all the true heroes of our society as far as I'm concerned. You are the guardians of these amazing individuals, the ones who've shaped their lives and their paths in a way that allows them to navigate this cruel and unfeeling world in a way that would have been impossible without the love and nurturing you gave them all these years. Knowing somehow what they need, and providing it, even when their needs are very different, and sometimes heartbreaking. Yes, to you it's every day life, and it can be difficult and nearly impossible at times, as well as heartwarming and funny and rewarding. To people like me, who will never know what you go through day to day, it's awe-inspiring. So, way to go, parents! You've done an amazing job. They are all wonderful and beautiful, and you should be very proud of the job you've done. You've done it together, which is the right way. You did it while keeping yourself intact. Many parents of "normal" kids can't even accomplish that.

  2. Karen- Thank you as always for your quite undeserved love and support.