Monday, March 12, 2012

Letter to a Friend with Autism

Dear D.,

 I see that the trap of the sensory system gone awry in autism is making you sad. It is so totally understandable. When I was twelve I also felt the same way you do. In sixth grade I was really sad every day. I saw I was not easily getting better. I saw I was not having much improvement in my speech, or my hand control, or my mind body dialogue in spite of years of toil. I looked around in middle school and I saw that being different was the worst sin of all to our peers.

 Like it or not, our destiny is to be different. Now I have even embraced it in some ways because I saw that hating autism made me depressed. Accepting that I could make a meaningful life for myself with autism changed everything. Inside I still wish I could be more neuro-typical in behavior. I’d talk in an instant if I could figure out how, but I feel blessed that I can communicate even if I can’t speak.

You can communicate more too if you really take it in stride. I mean it is hard to allow yourself to communicate with others after years of stimming inside. In the journey to communication you must embrace the world outside of your obsessions. I see your sensory toys. It’s an incredible escape; still I see your mom wants to know you inside. Your thoughts matter to her. She misses hearing them because deep down inside you guard them so tightly. It is liberating to let go, to communicate, and to join in the world, in the regular ways of school or family. Don’t give in to sorrow because we can be free inside in spite of the hard challenges autism gives.

Your friend, Ido

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautifully written letter that will help many through those tough days (moms and children). I encourage parents of children with limited verbal abilities to read this letter to their sons or daughters. Ido reminds me that they are always listening...even if they seem to be far way. Thank you.

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