I see your face and I recognize the look. I recognize it because I once bore that same look.
It is a look of fear and uncertainty but mostly fear of the unknown.
You look tired and afraid. You’re not certain who you can trust or who has the words of wisdom you feel will breathe some small fragment of hope back into your life.
You look unprepared as you ready yourself for the laborious climb up the mountain. You hesitate at the bottom, looking for someone up above to guide you.
I see you. I’m looking at you but you can’t see me, not yet. You will though. I know you will. You just need more time.
I started my climb many years ago and, like you, I too felt completely unprepared and overwhelmed.
I want to shout out to you that you can do it, that you will amaze yourself at how strong you are.
I want to shout out to you that you will meet people along the way. You are not alone. You won’t see them all the time because they’re on their own journey, but you will come across them once in a while.
You will meet many different people who are all standing on different parts of the mountain. Every view is different and every experience is relative to them in their context of their journey. Some will tell you to take their route, to join their journey because they’re convinced theirs is the shortest, fastest, best route yet.
I say to take your time and not make any judgments too quickly. Review your map and see for yourself how far your child has taken you on this mountain. Be fair to your child and do what is best for him.
Some will stay where they are because they aren’t ready to move forward just yet. They need more time. But eventually they will begin their climb once again.
This will happen to you too, as it is happening to me.
I’ve been here for a little while now. My son isn’t ready to continue the climb. So, we wait. I wait with him. I will always be with him.
Even in these moments when we wait, we are learning. I am learning so much from my son. This mountain and the climb wasn’t what I had expected. This mountain of uncertainty has taught me so much about autism, about my son’s abilities and his potential.
This mountain once paralyzed me with fear. Today, it has given me a different view of life. A more treasured outlook, a more blessed feeling of gratitude for all the little things. This mountain gave me the education and knowledge I needed to help my son.
It will do the same for you.
Even in the thickest fog this autism mountain can sometimes bring, stretch out your hand and you will feel someone who is standing right beside you. Your child will find his place and he will feel safe.
I look down below and I smile to myself. I see you taking your child’s hand as you are about to ascend the mountain.
You look back at your child who is scared. You hold on to his hand even tighter and with the steadiest voice, filled with determination and strength, you tell him “It’s going to be fine my love, I promise.”
And you begin your climb.
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