“He’s just wired differently.”
We heard this phrase often in those first months after Wilson’s autism diagnosis. We were trying to wrap our heads around this world of autism in which our son was living. It’s a fairly simple phrase, which was almost refreshing given the complexities of this disorder we wanted so badly to understand.
We’ve since learned that for us, autism is in the moment. It’s unpredictable. Some days it is two steps forward, and one step back. It’s phases you cannot wait to get out of, and moments you want to freeze in time. It’s taking the long way. Routine and repetition. Pure innocence. Contradiction. Hope. Unconditional love and loyalty. It’s falling down and getting back up. It’s courage + resilience.
“I would not change my son for the world. I would change the world for my son.”
I came across this quote the other day and it reminded me: This is why I share my son’s story. There is so much about his autism experience that is out of my control. What I can do is spread awareness and hope that it leads to a little understanding, patience, and compassion.
So, let’s talk to our kids about how all their friends are unique, and that it is a beautiful thing. How we all learn at a different pace, and speak in distinct ways, but can still have so much in common with one another.
All children could benefit from a friend to help them overcome challenges and build confidence and self-worth. Let’s teach them acceptance and inclusion.
Let’s change the world.