Just call me the Autism fairy

Lately, I’ve come to calling myself the Autism Fairy (like the tooth fairy, but without the tiara and I don’t give out money. Sorry.). It seems everywhere I go, I meet other parents or loved ones or friends of parents of kids on the spectrum. It seems like most of them are newly diagnosed and floundering a bit. You know, like I am was not too long ago. So it feels good to share with them all the progress Reed has made over the last year and a half. To suggest a few things that have worked so well for us recently. To point out my bright little sunshine of a boy playing interactively with the other kids at the playground.

 Owen and I were at a birthday party recently for one of his little friends (her birthday is the day after his). Because she has special needs herself, many of the party guests come from her EI class. My friend (the birthday girl’s mom) pointed out a mom and little girl on the far end of the park and mentioned that the little girl was recently diagnosed as autistic, on the classic autism end of the spectrum. She sort of hinted that it might be nice for her friend if I introduced myself, so Owen and I made a point of wandering their way. Owen jumped right in, not paying much attention to the girl, which seemed fine by her. The mom and I made casual conversation while watching them slide, and finally she made a comment about the diagnosis, to which I replied that I also had a child on the spectrum. She was intrigued and started asking questions. I explained how we came to have him tested and what we had done since then. She asked if we could recommend any doctors as she was unhappy with some of theirs. And then she asked about school. As I explained Reed’s school situation and the progress he’s made, her face brightened. Her eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas and you could practucally see the heavens open and the beam of light shine on her. I’m fairly certain I heard a chorus of angels coming from somewhere (but it might have just been the “Happy Birthday” song from the next party over). After a while, she packed up her daughter and they headed for home, but it felt good to give her some hope for the day. I know her daughter’s situation is different from Reed, but it didn’t matter. She needed to hear a success story. The doctors had been giving her statistics and predictions and they weren’t good. She needed to hear that sometimes, sometimes it turns out okay. That a kid who happens to have Autism can also have friends and excel in school and be brilliant and funny and adorable. Because they can.

 If this gets to be a regular thing, I may have to buy a tiara.

Advertisements