Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Autism Awareness Month - Three Letters

“Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg.” 
― Paul Collins

 My Dear Brady,
  I will love you always for exactly who it is that you are. I will not push you away when I don't understand you. I will not use sarcasm when speaking to you since you don't understand it. I will explain well known expressions to you - I will make sure that there is never a loud fan in our house, that the bathroom is moth free. I will not make fun of you because you are scared of butterflies, I will not chastise you because you have to learn and memorize empathy. When you say "move out of my way" I will know that you are not intentionally being rude, just blunt. I will try to help you learn the polite way to say things so that you might have long lasting relationships in your life. I will never try to force you to be who I want you to be.
 You are brave. You are smart. You are good. You are my precious first born son. I love my little Aspie and I will always be here for a hug, a meltdown session, a cup of tea, or a long conversation about China. You can stay with us for however long you need - and if I have to carpool you around until I'm 85... it's my pleasure. Being scared of traffic really should be the "norm" anyways.
Love you,
Your mom

My dear Koala Bear,
 I'm so grateful for your gift of affection. You are always there to comfort others and you have SO much empathy and are so sharing you will probably be the kindest and poorest man on earth. God smiles down on you because this is a trait of His that you are blessed to have naturally - without trying.
 You are learning and growing and this year you have begun to play more sports and we have discovered that you are very athletic. You are learning to read and doing an awesome job at it.
 Tristan, I commit myself to you for the rest of time. I will listen to you even if it takes me a bit to understand, and when you need me to be your voice - I will be. You are not to "touchy feely" for me, I welcome your hugs and your kisses and your tickling fingers. You have a hard time speaking so it's natural that you would want to bond and communicate through touch. Everyone in the world could probably use a hug - I wish they could just spend on day with you and their love buckets would be full if only they would put their guard down. You are strong and funny and handsome. I will always be your help for as long as you need and your biggest fan - autism is just way of being, not a life sentence. You have so much to give and such a full life ahead of you. You are my love.

My Little Bug,
 You are a sign of patience that has grown in me. Sometimes I look at you and think "wow, are family has come a long way. We have grown tremendously." You are becoming a little boy this spring, but you have so many hurdles to jump right now. I'm sorry that you are scared of the bugs outside, of the sawing noise that is coming from down the street. I'm sorry that sometimes I clap when I exercise and it scares you, and that after an outing we have to turn our car in the wrong direction (towards home!)  I'm sorry that sometimes "normal" is painful. You are learning to deal with things around you by playing games in your head - and baby, if you need mommy to be a giant penguin or Katarina the Cat then that is what I will be any day, any time.
 We don't quite know yet what your interests will be but we know how INTERESTING and INFECTIOUS you are if given a chance. A lot of people don't understand you right now, but that's not your problem - people have a hard time understanding puzzles and they over compensate by either ignoring and thinking the worst. Lucky you, I don't mind puzzles and I will work extra hard to put pieces in place that will alleviate some of your anxiety.
 I will protect you from pain, and when I can't - I will always have open arms for my Super Finn. When it's time for you to try new things I will try to step back and let you do it because I know you can. If you need me to hold you until you are 7 I will try my best (even though I may need to step up my workout routine because you are going to be a very big boy.) I love you my Finn and autism or not - you are exactly the son I always wanted.

“Think of it: a disability is usually defined in terms of what is missing. … But autism … is as much about what is abundant as what is missing, an over-expression of the very traits that make our species unique.” 
― Paul CollinsNot Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism


  1. Beautiful letters to your boys.

  2. I love you, Alyssa Spring. You are growing into a very loving and wise older lady!!