When you are told that your precious baby girl, that you are holding in your arms has Autism, a whole range of emotions go through you. My first emotion at being told Sarah had Autism was shock and numbness and at the very end of the emotions was relief.
I felt relief because I thought maybe now with a name or label we could find a cure for this Autism.I had no idea about Autism, the Autism Spectrum or anything.
I did however know something about girls. First of all I am a girl and I had 2 previous girls before Sarah was born.
I had a lot of rude awakenings while raising Sarah. I have to say though, Sarah was pretty patient with me in some areas.
Raising Sarah was not easy, but overall it was not extremely hard either. Once I learned to love her for who she is I was on a much healthier journey with her.
Back in 1991 when Sarah was diagnosed with Autism, I thought that the baby girl that I gave birth to had died and was replaced with this monster called Autism. I grieved a lot during this time. Pretty soon I was just looking at the Autism and not Sarah.
I really thought I was to blame some how in all of this. After all most of the people that we would encounter would give me that certain look or actually say “Can’t you do something about your child”? or they would do or say much worse things that I will not repeat. Pretty soon I got tired of the negativity and decided to not let what other people think or say (that are not in my family) bother me.
After a lot of years, I finally began to see Sarah as she really is and the Autism monster started slowly going away. I began to see her strength and her inner beauty. Once I started seeing that in her, she started seeing that within herself.
I began to understand that she really does care about other people and that she really does want to be independent like her sisters. She goes through the same female things that we all go through, only maybe more extensive.
As you can tell I have learned a lot over the years about Sarah and I would not trade her for the world. She has taught me a lot about myself…..the good, bad and the ugly.
For any parent out there that has just found out their child has been diagnosed with Autism, or you are raising a young one diagnosed with Autism. I just want you to know, I am here for you. Our family has gone through a lot and if I can help anyone else, I will. Just let me know.
- Autism and Milestones (cleveland.cbslocal.com)