Autism Is a Gift 101

Be forewarned, I’m in a controversial mood today. I have a few topics that I’ve purposely procrastinated on writing on because of how people can react. Unfortunately, I’m finding myself wanting to address these more and more. I’m also finding out that sometimes honesty isn’t always controversial free or nice or pretty. So here goes…

Our journey with Autism, Anxiety, ADHD (wow the 3 A’s) and Sensory Processing issues is unique. Em side of autism isn’t what most people think when they think ANY of these things. Sometimes, I think people read our posts on Facebook or blogs expecting to hear how awful it is all the time. You know, it’s not all bad all the time. Don’t get me wrong, we have BAD days. Just like anyone else out there. We struggle, in our own ways. And Em truly does struggle with these conditions day in and day out.

I promised myself and Emelie, we would keep it real when we started this. That we would share the great things she does. We’d share her struggles. We’d find her voice together. And every day we grow closer to her being independent. Not all children on the spectrum with have that luxury. Not all people with anxiety will have that capability. And the same can be said for those with ADHD and Sensory issues. Em knows that. We know that.

I know that there are people out there that claim Em’s statement of Autism being a gift is over-reaching. I get that sometimes Autism and its lesser functioning ends of it are not very pleasant. I would accept that challenge though. It’s a matter of perspective. For us, and for Em, we CHOOSE to see it as a gift. We CHOOSE to find beauty in the “flaws”. We CHOOSE to let go of it. It didn’t happen overnight. As she got older, we were able to come to the point of letting it go. Realizing for us, we had to let IT all go for our health, sanity, and happiness.

It has a name so that we can work with her and understand her. It gives us a direction. It gives us options. BUT it does NOT define her. It doesn’t limit who she is necessarily. We don’t dwell on the can’ts. We focus on the cans. We do the same with Christian. It’s our parenting style. We build on the strengths and use them to strengthen the weak areas where we can.

I guess my point is, not all families on the spectrum are where we are. I can understand that. I can even accept that. I don’t have to live their lives with their challenges. Each walk with autism is unique and has its own path. The biggest challenge is learning to find the beauty in the chaos. For some, it comes sooner. For others, it may never happen. Yet, it’s their walk to define.

We love to quote Albert Einstein’s statement: 

‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’

For us, every day is a gift. Every day has a purpose. Every challenge makes us stronger. And every gift is a blessing. Em sees the world differently and embraces it around her. She will always struggle at her core, but on the surface she will put the coping skills in place and work through that struggle often without missing a beat. That is what we strive for and push for and if she is calling it a gift, who are we to challenge her in her walk?

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2 thoughts on “Autism Is a Gift 101

  1. You’re absolutely right! We choose for ourselves whether something is a curse or a blessing – whether that be something like Em’s diagnosis or just the everyday things that happen in life. We don’t always get to choose what happens TO us, but we can ALWAYS choose how we will react, and in what mindset. Our choices may sometimes be limited, they may not always be great, but we always have the choice to make the most of what we are given. And sometimes, God puts a mountain in our path because the path we are on is about to drop us off a cliff, or lead into the lion’s den. When the mountain drops in front of us, we have the choice to sit at the base of it and grumble and complain that life is too hard and it’s not fair, or we can choose to take on the challenge and let it make us stronger as we scale the mountain. Either way, whether we choose to say “I can” or we choose to say “I can’t,” we’re probably right. Things are only a curse if we choose to let them be one.

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