I Thought I Knew About Autism

I was heartbroken when my son was diagnosed with autism. You want to know why? Because of what I thought I knew about it. I had an idea in my head of what autism was. And boy was I wrong.

There were a lot of things I didn’t know. The main thing was, I thought that people with autism couldn’t show affection. Or didn’t want to. I thought it was hard for everyone on the spectrum to make connections with others.

The minute that the doctor told me that Carter had autism, all of this popped into my head. I thought that my relationship with Carter wouldn’t be as strong, because of that word. Autism.

Here’s the kicker. From the moment Carter was born, until that very minute sitting in the doctors office, he and I were best buds. We spent everyday together. We snuggled. We had tickle fights. He gave Eskimo kisses. We held hands. (Or I held his hook. He’s a pirate, you know.)

He always did this thing with me, where he would put his forehead on mine, look very intently into my eyes, and then he would kiss my forehead. Dreamy, right? I was included in all of his sword fights.

We were as close as a mother and son could be. So what had changed? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Again. I let what I thought I knew, scare me into believing that all of that was gone. That all of that was taken away.

Autism has taken a lot away from us. It’s taken away a lot of “typical” moments that parents have with their kids. My kid doesn’t play sports. He hasn’t had a childhood girlfriend, like a lot of other 6 year olds. (That might actually be a good thing)

He isn’t telling me stories about his day and reading all of the signs as we drive by. He isn’t running and playing with all of the other kids on the playground. There is a lot that we have missed out on. And there is a lot that we will miss out on. But my relationship with him, it can’t be taken away.

No matter what label he has been given to him, that is one experience I haven’t missed out on.

We walked out of the Doctors office hand in hand that day. On the way home, we stopped to eat lunch. And just like before, he climbed up into my lap and snuggled me. I didn’t see any of that, that day. I was grieving things that weren’t lost.

I’m not sure when it hit me. A few months later, maybe. But I still had my boy. I still had our relationship.

I guess what I’m getting at is, we all have these ideas in our heads of how we think things are. We think we know. We think we understand. But sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we have it all wrong.

Be open minded. It’s good to research, but sometimes you need to stop googling and look at what’s in front of you. Look at what you have.

Don’t let autism take something away from you, that has been there all along.

Written by, Samantha Fawns

Her son Carter Rue, thinks he is a pirate. He also, happens to have autism. Everyday is an adventure, when you are a part of “Carter’s Crew.” Sam shares their journey at The Au-Some Pirate.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

Note: Featured image was provided by Samantha’s photographer, L.West Photography.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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