Autism is not a “blessing.” My son’s illness did not “happen for a reason.” I just don’t see the world that way.
But I do have the wherewithal to extract the positives where I can find them.
I could not have written that last post if I weren’t paying attention. Paying attention to everything, that is. Noticing Martin’s ups. Trying not to dwell on his downs. Celebrating imitation and inference-drawing as if he’d graduated Harvard.
Recovering from autism is like navigating childhood in slow motion. Martin achieves only gradually skills that neurotypical kids acquire in a flash and as a matter of course. My only child is on the spectrum, so I don’t know this for sure, but—I suspect that parents of neurotypicals may overlook tiny changes when they occur. They probably don’t keep calendars to mark when their children first pucker and blow bubbles.
Adrian and I see every momentum shift.
And years from now, when Martin is a surly teenager who rejects us in favor of his friends, we’ll be able to celebrate the event as our own special victory.
How many parents can say that?