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Most of us on this path, the path of Autism, are quite familiar with the poem having to do with Holland.  Many of us may not have planned to give birth to Autism, but for reasons we may never fully know, Autism had plans for us.

As parents to these children, are we to look at ourselves as being uber special in some way? Are we truly the Chosen Ones? Are we the only ones who were somehow more prepared than others to handle a life that would be altered in unimaginable ways?

I do not believe this is the case.  I am no more special than a parent raising a “neurotypical” child.  I do not feel as if I am better equipped to raise a “special needs” child any more than being equipped to raise a “normal” child.  Like most people, I am simply doing the best I can with the tools that I have, hoping that the teachings I offer my son will serve him well in life.

However, unlike most people, I am becoming more conscious, or mindful, of how life shows up for me.  I am becoming more aware of how I show up in the world. After all, I am my son’s first example, and goodness knows, I want to be a good one to him.

And unlike most people, I see Autism as a gift… a diamond in the rough of what was once my “normal” life.

Normal… to think I had that belief pegged to an exact science. But as I reflect back on this journey, all I see is normality.  What may seem as abnormal, or disorderly, to some, is completely “normal” for me.  What I have learned from Autism is one very important message… we all want to be accepted, loved, and supported as we are.

The world “out there” seems to be falling apart in the eyes of many.  Every day, people are becoming more fearful of the unknown.  I am grateful that I have Autism in my life for it has made me stronger and more courageous to face the expanding “darkness” in the world.

Being Present

My son is very much “in the now”. He isn’t concerned with tomorrow, nor is he concerned with yesterday.  His sole focus is on what he is doing… in the moment. Because of this, life shows up for him as joy, happiness, and contentment.  Laughter and play are large parts of his day.

Is there a lesson here for the rest of us?

Yes!

But how, when everything seems amuck, can we be present?

The spiritual thinkers encourage us to think about what we are grateful for in our lives right now. The roof over our heads; the food in our cupboards; the electricity that lights our homes. When we think about it, there is actually much that we can be grateful for every day.

What I’m Grateful For…

I am deeply grateful for the blessing that is my son.

I am deeply grateful for the laughter that fills our home.

I am deeply grateful for the peace and love in our hearts.

I am deeply grateful for Autism.

Again, not everyone sees Autism as a gift.  It took me years to reach this point. However, when I sit back and observe, I have uncovered a treasure trove of why it is a gift. I chose to accept Autism for what it is, and what it has to offer the world, and I truly believe that life will show up differently… and more magically for us all because of it!