One fine day, not too long ago, I was asked what kind of Autism my son had, and I didn’t really know how to answer that question. The way I see it is this: no two Autism’s are alike. Sadly, I almost thought about it like Salsa; there’s mild, medium (moderate), and Spicy (severe). Yeah, I know it’s not exactly a politically correct way to look at it, but I did.
This is usually how it goes (not for everyone, but for some. One day a red flag or two presents its self. It might be ignored, because kids can be quirky sometimes. Right? But then it happens again. And again. And again, until someone else notices it before you do. They approach you very carefully about it. But you pooh-pooh it, because hey… “kids can be quirky.”
Mild, moderate, and severe cases are being diagnosed everyday, and having families grieve the loss of what their hopes and dreams were for their children, doesn’t exactly fade away like an old t-shirt. Even today, I still grieve the loss of the future I so badly wanted for my son; asking a girl to prom, riding in a limo with friends, going to a college of his choice, first apartment (with roommates), experiencing true love, first job, getting fired from first job, buying a car/motorcycle, going to a concert with his friends, etc.
Now I know that all of this is still a possibility for him, I’m not blind to that, but the work that it’s going to take for some of these things to happen will be because someone has practiced with him. It didn’t come naturally to him. And even though my son’s Autism is on the mild/moderate side of the spectrum, it still hurts to think about.
But if you dig deeper, what if he didn’t want to go to his prom to begin with?What if he chooses to take public transportation because he simply doesn’t want to buy a car or motorcycle? What is he chooses to not fall in love, or have roommates or a first apartment? What if he was destined NOT to go to college because he simply didn’t want to. He chose something else instead. A trade perhaps.
The future is so bright for my little boy, but so uncertain as well. His favorite things hang in the balance at times, and no one knows for sure what the future holds, unless they have a crystal ball. But what does my son’s autism look like? Here, I’ll show you.