Why I am Thankful for — Autism

Giving Thanks Thanksgiving Aspergers

What?  Yes, it is true.  My oldest has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and it makes life difficult.

But on the day before Thanksgiving, I thought I would share why I am — really – thankful for this trial.

I for sure don’t act this way on a daily basis, as typically I am getting frustrated with my son due to the issues that autism has brought to our family.  However, along the path of healing that we have been on, some days I think, “How would I really feel if I were to wake up and find that my son was completely healed?”

And I realize that, I am thankful for autism.  Or rather, I am thankful for the parts of my son that have been made special by his affliction.

Here is some of what I mean:

1.  Honesty –

When my son says something, he means it.  There really is no wondering with him.  Try to get that with any other kid (or person, for that matter.).

2.  Loyalty

My son sticks close with a fierce loyalty to trustworthy people.  No matter how many times I (and my husband) blow it with him (lose patience, yell when we should hug, etc.), he still loves us.  He sees past our failings and sees our hearts and continues loving and forgiving us.  No matter what.

3.  Intelligence & Memory Skills

No doubt about it, we have a sharp cookie.  And his memory is astounding.  He’ll remember things like:

  • the last names of people we’ve met only one time
  • physician’s names
  • dates of events (like the date we did something important because he remembers that it was on the same day that his favorite hockey team won a shut out)
  • twice he’s qualified for the national competition in the National Bible Bee, one year memorizing literally hundreds of passages in the Bible.  My aging mind can’t even come close :-).

When I can’t remember something, my youngest will say, “Just ask him.  He remembers everything.”  It’s true.

4.  Inquisitiveness

Like me, he wants to know about everything.  He asks questions ad nauseum and they can go on and on.  I get frustrated regularly about the onslaught of questions, but truth be told, if he stopped asking, I would miss hearing what his inquisitive soul was pondering.

5.  Healing Help –

This “crisis” of autism has helped me to see other health issues in our family and learn how to better deal with them.  Figuring out how to better help my son has helped me to better help my entire family.  And, as a result, it has led me to learn about better health overall.  I’ve read books and scoured the internet endlessly for health information that has helped me to help him.  And us.  And hopefully now others.  Like you.

6.  Community

Because of autism, I have made many friends whom I never would have known otherwise, both locally and on the web.  Autism groups, bloggers, etc.  I am so thankful for the inspiration and friendship of others who are on the same path as us.  A big hug to all of you from me.

7.  Weakness –

Because of autism, I am powerless.  My bent is to be an “I Can Get It Done” kind of gal.  Mostly.  Truth is, I have a great deal of insecurity bound up inside, so I alternate between feeling like Supermom and well, Losermom.  Maybe you’ve been there?  Anyway, facing something as rough as autism has made me realize that there is very little in my control.

I have to let go and let God be my strength daily.

I don’t know how to help my son, but He does.

I don’t know how to love, but He does.

When I am weak, He is strong.

Yes, I’m Thankful for Autism.

For more on how autism has touched our lives, read:

Natural Autism Healing – Monster Included
Healing Our Son’s Autism – the Best Therapy of All
Freedom on the Fourth (And Autism & Anxiety Story)
Special Needs Children – A Sign from God

And here is another post by Becky of Organizing Made Fun on Thanksgiving and Autism.  Great minds (and thankful moms) think alike :-)!

Is there a difficult situation in your life that you need to thank God for?

 {Photo Credit}

 

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom.

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  1. This rang so true! I am the mother of a 20 year old son who also has Asperger’s. He is the oldest of our 8 children, and there have certainly been challenges along this journey, but he is a wonderful, loving son. He is in his second year of university now, and on the dean’s list, despite his organizational difficulties. We are thankful not only for him, but for the progress he has made since his diagnosis as a preschooler.
    Keep heart. It was nice to run across your blog, and I hope to stay connected.

    • Wow – how encouraging! There are some real successes with our son. Long distance bike riding for charity (he rode 58 miles this past year in one day), placing nationally in the Bible Bee Competition, and more. Thanks for the encouragement and I sure hope to see you again as well.

  2. Interesting perspective. But you’re right, these kids are SMART! And, inventive. I get such a case of the warm fuzzies when I am able to have 2 way communication with a little girl who is non-verbal that I work with.

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  4. Adrienne, this is a beautiful post! It’s so honest, tender, heartfelt and thought provoking. Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  5. Wow. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing this. Imagine the mothers and fathers you are touching with this! I am going to share over on Facebook as well.

  6. Thanks for sharing a wonderful touching post to Hearth and soul blog hop.

  7. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for sharing about your son and this thoughtful perspective on raising a child with Aspergers. Your son sounds like an incredible young man.

    Warmest wishes,
    Jenn

  9. Yes to every single one of these. I have a teen with autism and, while there are many things that make our days tough, there are that many more that have changed our life for the better. I love the innocence that she has and her ability to see the good in everyone and to never judge someone by what they look like. She has taught us so much, sounds like your son has done the same.

    • Thanks so much, Jessica. I so often am not focusing on the right things. Trying to get things done, getting frustrated with my son’s issues. And I miss the beauty. We had one such amazing “beauty” moment last night. I hope to share it. It was amazing. Blessings to you and yours.

  10. What a beautiful post. Thank you so much. Our very good friend has a son with autism, and we have learned so much from him. Our friend’s son, and our friend, have blessed us beyond measure. What an encouraging story!!

    ~ Tiffany

    Transfer of Health
    Healthy Recipes and Wellness Tips

  11. Thankyou. O sure apreciare your blogs and recipes. My 7 te old and 3 te old ha e Aspergers as well as hubby. We eat cesien, gluten, sugar free and more recently soy and egg free. Seams that the soy affected us in similar ways as gluten or cesien. And now allergic to eggs. We do quite well with these dietary habit in managing anxiety and meltdowns. I have four boys. I am so thankful for the peace and the ability they now have to focus and be sensitive to eachother. Thus, I REALLY appreciate your help on the yummy recipes since we eat so close to the same. May God bless you more and more!
    Rachel

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Rachel! Blessings to your home as well and I hope to see you around again! Yes – we do eat alike :-). Several of us eat eggs, and I will fry them and peel the white off so my son can have the yolks, but it’s hard. He’s had a reaction sometimes from stray white on the yolk. Take care.

  12. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful post! I just found your site and when I got to this post, and #7 I was ready for a box of kleenex. I’m also a mom to a wonderful kid with autism and severe peanut allergy. Thank you for this wonderful resource!

  13. Carol Blackman says:

    Loved your post on thankfulness for autism. I remember when our son was really doing poorly years ago and someone chided me for not praying for healing for him. As the years passed I realized I didn’t desire instant healing as autism had opened doors to help others that we’d NEVER have been able to connect otherwise. It’s not been an easy road, but it’s been one we have treasured and can see God’s faithfulness countless times. Now that he’s a young adult, I find it even more of a blessing as he has a stick-to-it-ive-ness with his first job (working for a bee keeper) that I would have quit with the first horrible sting that swelled his hand and arm horribly, but thankfully we found some homeopathic drops that helped the severe reactions and now he gets sometimes 30 stings a day and he may look like he was hit by buckshot in that part of his body, but he acts like it’s no big deal since it’s not swollen thanks to the homeopathic drops. When people have told him to quit, he just replies, “Where else will I find a job? It took me a year to find this job, I’m not quitting!” We feel truly blessed to have had the privilege of being his parents.

    Blessings,
    Carol

    • Thanks for the beautiful note. Blessings on you with your son. I hope to see you around again and I’m glad to hear about the homeopathy. I need to dig into that more :-).

  14. I know I am late seeing this post but I have to tell you something. I will try to think of this each and every time my daughter goes into her “alone moods”. After fighting for years to know what was wrong with my daughter at 12 they Dx’ed HFA. It has been a very long road. And with the onset of hormone production her melt downs have increased 100 fold in the past two years. The meltdowns or explosions as they seem have taken a toll on me and the rest of the family BUT….. TO live without her or to live without the part of her that is so head strong would be devastating. Yes I too am thankful that Autism made her who she is! She actually gives me lots of purpose. I have to fight for her so I must stay strong through all adversity. I must help her become all she can be even on days when she does not want to see another human face. I must take each new breath to be there when she succeeds and steps up and takes on her role in life. In short I must just BE! And she IS! Love to all the Autism parents!

  15. Lacto-fermented foods, especially kefir, have been reported to have good results in cleaning out our “gut” and many problems, including autism, have been cured.

  16. Diane Crane says:

    Dear Adrienne,
    Our youngest son also has Aspergers. We have been following a website called http://www.knowthecause.com
    Doug Kaufmann is a wonderful man. I have personally met him at a health forum in Michigan and he is the “real deal” . I totally agree with everything you are saying about gut health. It is sooo important.
    Thank you for bringing this everyone’s attention because you won’t get this from the main stream media, etc. We have found an alternative doctor but still get a lot of “advice” from well meaning people. Our son is now 26 years old and able to hold a job as a janitor. He loves his job. His employer knows that he is different in some ways but very trustworthy and meticulous with his job. He still has a hard time with maintaining friends. We can only do what we can do as parents and must leave the rest with the Lord. I know he called us to be his parents for a reason for which we are so grateful.

    Sincerely,
    Diane
    crane411@comcast.net

  17. I’m thankful for Asperger’s, too. But not that way…. You see, I have Asperger’s, my husband has Asperger’s, three of my four children have Asperger’s. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with us, as we say, “cause God don’t make junk”. Our youngest child, who is 7, does not have Asperger’s and she is a challenge for us, but we meet a lot of people because she drags them over the introduces us to them. Which is awkward for us, but we have met some really nice people we would never have otherwise met.

  18. I came to this article through a link from a facebook page about inclusion.

    Such a disappointing article to feature for thanksgiving. While I too am incredibly thankful for everything my son with autism brings to our lives I cannot at all relate to words like “trial”, “infliction”, and the reference to a need for healing. My son isn’t inflicted and his life isn’t a trial for me or him. And he isn’t sick, he doesn’t need to be healed. He is a delightful, funny, busy, determined little 6-year-old boy. I look forward to each day with him and hearing his unique perspective of life. I treasure this life with my son, even the most difficult days because I know I am blessed.

    • Hi there. Thanks for commenting. I’m sorry that you were disappointed. We didn’t have really any troubled until our son reached 6. Then things got very difficult. Perhaps the issues you have with your son are different than ours. We do treasure our son, but his anxiety and OCD tendencies are very hard to deal with. He is troubled a great deal by it as well. I hope that explains things better.

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  1. […] that she’s thankful for the parts of her son that have been made special by his diagnosis.  Click here for more information on this mom’s story.   According to Psychology Today- gratitude (thankfulness) enables us to connect with something […]

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