Since my dad died in April 10 years ago, T.S. Eliot hasn’t gotten much argument from me about it being the cruelest month. Two Aprils ago was when we started down the path that led to our son’s diagnosis with autism. Then it turns out April is in fact Autism Awareness Month. (Gotta say, I don’t think much of these awareness months when you live it 365 days a year. But I digress.) Plus it’s got April Fool’s Day, which seems more about humiliation than humor, and all those April showers.
This year, I’m on a mission to take back the month of April. Starting with the whole autism
thing. The picture above captures in that worth-a-thousand words way, how people with autism, like my son on the left, differ from neurotypicals, like me in the middle and my daughter on the right. Owen’s not looking at the camera, despite being begged, coaxed and cajoled at the time of the shot. His gaze is fixed on something else. He looks just as happy as Audrey does (which frequently isn’t the case and is another reason I like this picture.) But his mind’s simply not with the majority on the matter at hand.
Many times this is frustrating beyond belief. But when I
try to manage to step back and look at the big picture of parenting a child on the autism spectrum, this is what I see. A happy boy, whose view just happens to be a little askew from mine.
Drop cap courtesy of Daily Drop Cap.