Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Tonight I took my 15-year old son, one of my non-autistic kids, to the local fishing pier on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. There was a nice breeze out on the water, making it the type of comfortable evening we rarely see in South Louisiana during the summer months. A night like this brings people out, and the pier drew strollers as well as fisherfolk. One gentleman and his son caught my eye. The boy was about 10-years old, and was obviously autistic. He displayed the typical stimming behavior I’ve come to recognize, and his speech was relatively undeveloped for a young man of his age. But his father did not seem self-conscious in the least; he was just enjoying some well-spent time with his son on a beautiful evening.

Before the birth of my youngest child (the one on the spectrum) I would have focused on an autistic child and felt sorrow for the parents without bothering to notice that the parents neither needed nor wanted pity. Now I know better.

Having an autistic child is a gift. Every day I get to celebrate progress that I took for granted with my older kids. The attention my son requires keeps him in the forefront of my consciousness every waking moment. He has made me a better parent to all of my children.


Anonymous John said...

I've had the very same experience.
My son is the light of my life, wouldn't change being his dad for anything.

8/11/05, 7:42 AM  

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