I came across this photo while doing some cleaning. It’s one of my favorites and yet it also comes with some sadness. This is my son shortly before he was diagnosed. In fact, this sweatshirt was one of the things that pointed to his rigid patterns of thought. He thought the side slits in the seams meant it was broken.
As special needs parents, we may find that grief is not a one-time event and can hit at unexpected moments. However, sometimes that sadness and joy can go hand in hand. Have you seen the Movie Inside Out? Riley is struggling with a cross country move, a new school, and frustrations with her parents. The personifications of her emotions, Joy and Sadness, try desperately to help her. It’s not until Joy realizes that Sadness, as well as Joy, is part of Riley’s special moments that Riley can heal.
Remembering the struggles of my son’s early years is sometimes incredibly sad for me. But I can also see how far he has come. We are at another crossroads now. I don’t know what the future will bring but I have hope.
It is also because of these experiences that I am committed to helping families of children with Autism. I’ll be launching a newsletter soon. Click on the link to sign up.