“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The Serenity Prayer
In my last post I mentioned that even with L’s diagnosis of autism there wasn’t anything my husband or I would change about him. All of L’s personality traits, little quirks, and all around awesomeness is tied up in his autism. Simply put L would not be L without it. I’m not meaning to sound cavalier about the whole thing, or the devastation it can cause to families. We will always wish that L didnt’ have to live with this diagnosis. It’s not him that I would change though, it’s the following things:
- I would change all the struggles he will face in the years ahead at school. All of the testing, and special evaluations, and struggling to keep up with his classmates. All of the stress this will cause him, and us, and his teachers.
- I would change the inevitable bullying he will go through just for being different. I will try my hardest to protect him from this but I can’t be there at all times and I can only hope that others will protect him in my absence. I remember what it was like to be bullied and I would never want him to go through that.
- I would change the ignorance that a lot of people have regarding autism. The ones who will point at him, and talk behind his back, and call him names, and think he deserves less respect than they do.
- I would change the uncertainty we now face about the future, both L’s and ours. Not knowing how he will develop is hard, there is no way to predict what path our lives will take.
- I would change all of the stress and impact this will have on my relationships, most importantly with my husband. I hope that we will make it through this together and that it will make us stronger.
- I would change the fact that G will probably have to stand up and protect his older brother, when it’s supposed to be the other way around.
- I would change the assumption people have that autistic children don’t want or need physical affection. L both needs and seeks out affection and attention from the people in his life.
- I would change the stereotype that all autistic children are the same, they’re not. Every one I’ve met so far has been different from the next, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses.
I can only hope that I will possess the serenity needed for all these changes….