I have been thinking about my Colby the last few days. The beginning of the school year is always difficult. Colby struggles because he hates change. My struggle is in watching all the kids his age hustle of to school, friends walking and talking together, anticipation of a new year, the excitement palpable in the air. Having a child who isn't "typical" is a roller coaster of emotions. Of course, I have accepted who Colby is and I love everything about him. But, there are events in life that trigger some sadness. I wonder what it would be like to have an eleven year old that runs off to school and enjoys it, and afterwards hangs out with friends. Even though these feeling creep up sometimes, they do not change the unconditional love that I have for Colby. In fact, I wouldn't change him if I could. To change him would be to take away the boy I know and love. The boy who uses words like, "What injuries did you sustain?" instead of, "Did you get hurt?" The boy who loves encyclopedias and Wikipedia more than anyone I know. The boy who amazes people with his knowledge and is affectionate and kind to his family. Nope. wouldn't change him if I could. I was looking over one of Colby's psychological evaluations that lead to the diagnosis of autism.
- Stereotyped or unusual use of words or phrases
- Limited conversation skills
- Difficulty with eye contact in social interactions
- Limited insight into the nature of social relationships
- Limited amount of overall reciprocal communication
- Difficulty with social interaction through chatting or "small talk"
- Circumscribed or narrow interest
For me, having a child with autism is like traveling on the frontage road when everyone else is on the Interstate. We are all headed in the same direction, but it will take us longer to get there. There will most likely be more bumps in our road. We have to obey the stop signs and we can't go as fast. The Interstate may not be a perfect road, but it is still hard when we glance over and see everyone whizzing by. However, we will keep going and adjust to the road as needed, and we will enjoy our journey.