Monday, November 18, 2013

Our Autism #thisisautism

Written by Jessi Cash

Originally published at
Deciphering Morgan

This is our autism.

Our family who loves our autistic child deeply. Who, if given the chance, would change the world before changing him.

A nine year old boy, big for his age, happy as a lark, laying in the middle of his self created Island of Sodor, happily scripting stories from the Thomas the Tank Engine series. His little brother looks on, frustrated that his big brother is taking up floor space, but I gently remind him that it's Morgan's turn to to play on the floor, so play along, or play with his Legos.

Our family taking trips into "the big city" to walk the streets in the French Quarter, someones hand tightly gripping Morgan's, anothers hand on Bay's, while all of us dance to the strains of jazz playing somewhere. Autism doesn't hold us back. Morgan loves our city and has taught us to find the details we might have missed otherwise. We notice and celebrate the beauty in the ordinary, whether it's cracks in hundreds of years old sidewalks or drain spouts shaped like fish mouths.

A boy who has brought more joy than pain to our lives. Who once was hard to understand, but once we learned his language, welcomed us into his world off scripts... all we had to do was learn them. Who loves with his mind, body, and soul. Who has the greatest belly laugh ever. Who tellsall women that they are "beautiful, like a rose." Who will be your friend.

Our autism looks like a family with a child who hums, chugs, sings, bounces, and flaps. Who sometimes needs fidgets or earplugs, or even sensory breaks. He also sometimes announces whatever is on his mind right this instant. Sometimes we get funny looks or even questions, and I am glad to explain because autism is nothing to be ashamed of, but to be educated about. When we get the harsh criticisms or stares, I politely give people the finger- that's our autism.

Our ideas of autism, acceptance, and our coping mechanisms have grown with Morgan and the amount of community we have discovered.

I used to think that autism was a "bad" thing, because that was what I was taught. I now know that you can be autistic and have a full life.

You can be autistic and be married.

You can be autistic and have kids.

You can be autistic and be happy. 

I learned that last one from Morgan, my son.

He is our autism.

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