Monday, November 18, 2013

Seeing the sun shine

Written by Courtney

Originally published at Sleep Deprivation Diaries

Dear Autism Speaks,

This is Autism

Aaron is four years old and is autistic. He loves toys that light up and beep, especially cars and trucks. Aaron loves bubbles, things that spin and he loves all things Curious George. He has the greatest belly laugh in the history of the world.  Aaron is sweet and silly and has the longest, most beautiful eye lashes.  He charms everyone who ever meets him.  Aaron loves to play with my ipad. He loves riding in the car and seeing big trucks on the road.  Aaron loves watching the mail truck pull up every day. He loves playing on playgrounds and in the summer he loves splash pads and pools. 

This is Autism

Scarlet is four years old and is Autistic.  She loves Sofia the first, ice cream and coloring.  Scarlet has the biggest heart. She worries about everyone and she loves to wake me up by kissing me or holding my face in hers and beaming at me.  Scarlet loves dancing and listening to music.  She loves going to the library, preschool and riding the bus home from school.  Scarlet loves playing outside, especially drawing with sidewalk chalk.  She laughs with her whole body and is a daddy's girl.  Scarlet loves helping take care of her brothers and brings them their favorite toys when they are upset.

This is Autism.

Owen is 2 years old and has PDD-NOS.  He has amazing, fluffy, curly hair and he loves skipping naps. Owen loves examining things to see how they work.  He loves jumping and running and playing in water. Owen would live in the water if he could.  He is really innately silly and fun. Owen loves to laugh and make other people laugh.  He loves Chuggington trains, dill pickle potato chips and playing outside.  He has a ton of energy and is one of the smiliest toddlers I have ever met.  Owen loves playing tackle with his Daddy and riding his ride on toys outside.  He is a ray of sunshine in our lives every single day.

This is Autism.

I am a mom of three amazing children.  I didn't know I am also on the spectrum until 18 months ago and finding out as an adult finally put a million different pieces into place. I have found a second family in the Autism community.  We have had our share of challenges and my children (2 of 3) have significant medical issues.  This does not diminish their worth.  They will never be a burden nor do I wish to be a martyr.  Our house is noisy and there are lots of diapers to be changed. We may be tired but we find a reason to laugh every day.  Every night at bedtime we kiss our kids and tell them we love them. They know they are loved unconditionally.  I know they love me even though they have never said it out loud.  We communicate in a million other ways.  I make lots of mistakes and sometimes I don't come across the way I want.  My husband and I consider ourselves some of the luckiest parents in the world.  Every life has value and is worthwhile.  My children's lives are theirs to live and no one can say or know for sure what they will do nor should they limit them due to their diagnoses.  My family sees the sun shine every single day. Some days it's brighter than others, but it's always there.  Autistic children and adults deserve respect and consideration. My children are amazing, astonishing and perfect in their imperfection. Our life is messy and unpredictable and chaotic, but its LIFE.  It is a life worth living.

This is Autism.

This is siblings watching TV.  This is Autism. 

This is silliness and joy.  This is Autism.

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