It’s Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month. I feel I should have written about this sooner but life gets away from me.
Other families contending with autism have already noted this everywhere: Every day of our lives is autism awareness and acceptance day. It simply has to be. It’s not like our loved one wakes up some random Wednesday and says “eh, going to put the autism in the closet today!” and just takes a time out from it. It is the ghost in the corners of our homes, always there, always lurking, always eluding clear and consistent explainations and answers.
It just is what it is. And we cope.
And to think, I am a freshman at the University of Life with Autism. I just started this journey alongside my son. We have a lot of years of study and learning before us and yet, already I feel overwhelmed a lot of days.
I am learning that might never entirely go away. I am learning I need to find peace and grace with that.
After intense illness last week, my son is not wholly well again still. He vomitted twice yesterday. I cannot just ask him “okay dude, what’s hurting? what’s making you feel sick?” or any such question. I have to ride things out until a symptom or group of symptoms presents in such a manner that the symptoms cannot be managed by common sense home care. I have to play elaborate guessing games and do a lot of hoping and praying.
I cannot have a conversation with my child. I do not have any guarantees beyond desperate hopes that I ever will. I cannot expect him to interact with the world at large the same way I do or the same way his neurotypical peers do.
It’s okay though. It’s going to be okay, even when I spend a night in tears of frustration and anger because I cannot sleep due to my son tugging at my ear, pushing at my back or rubbing at my arm so very much that there’s no peace for either of us.
He is, after all, a person with autism. A person. A sweet, wonderful, charming person. An awesome person.
We’ll get through this, despite autism and despite my random ramblings. It will be hard but it will be okay.