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 are some of the reasons why:
Why I'm Thankful for Autism
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:
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?