It may sound odd that I titled this entry "Gratitude" but over the past few days I've had some time to think about what I'm grateful for with regards to Autism. I've lived with Autism for years. I just didn't know it. The name didn't change what we were dealing with, but it did help. "Autism" as a label opened doors. It brought with it special classes, therapists, doctors, and opportunities for my sons to get help that we never would have gotten without that word.
I could list for days the way that Autism makes me crazy. For example, Ciaran has been on a kicking spree lately. We have French doors that lead to the master bedroom. Ciaran likes to wake me up in the morning by kicking them. Or if I go in there to change or feed the baby, he's right there kick, kick, kicking them and generally making me crazy. He does it for a number of reasons, all related to his Autism. Autism is the reason it's so hard to potty train, that Reagan has so much trouble staying focused, and what hinders communication with Ciaran. But this label means we have a chance to fight back. Because now that it has a name, we have some idea of what tools to use. And we will use them, we will fight, and we will somehow win.
I'm grateful for the unique human being my Autistics are. I cherish each smile I'm given, and each milestone reached. I'm grateful for the label, if not for the disorder.
Autism affects 1 in 100 children. Two of them are mine.