At age 3, we waited several months to have her evaluate and spent a great deal of money to know the results. At age 4, she went to preschool and began speech and occupational therapy. At age 6, she started kindergarten and worked with an autistic teacher. Why? Because of autism.
We never drove to the carwash with her in the car, and still don’t. We cut every tag off her clothes. It took years for her to finally eat a hamburger instead of just the bun. We went through a year or two of poor sleeping habits. She still looks away in the distance when meeting someone new and even when not. Why? Because of autism.
She thrives on routine and appreciates knowing ahead of time of any changes. She would rather have the wind comb her hair than a hairbrush. She flaps her hands when she is nervous or excited. She has a few friends not many. Why? Because of autism.
Because of autism, all of this and more are challenging. We live these days knowing that for the rest of our autistic daughter’s life, there will be trials not common to the typical person. Why? Because of autism.
‘Because’ is a word we use a lot. “Because I said so, because I am busy, because it’s raining, or just because. That’s it. No other word to use. Because there is no other word to use when you simply don’t know why. And there are times we ask ourselves, Why autism? The answer seems to always be because – period.
But there’s another “Because of autism,”. It makes us smile. It is exciting. It’s a ‘because” that removes the period and puts the ellipsis. Because……..
She sees the needle in a haystack and remembers things like holding the 2 thousand dollar check when talking into the bank and therefore didn’t loose it. She remembers the last name of the very nice girl that we met at church She sees the living room transformed from winter decor into spring even with subtle changes. Why? Because of autism.
She offers someone her bag of her favorite potato chips at lunch even though she was looking forward to eating them herself. She draws characters with eyes that say ‘Hello! It’s so nice to meet you’ and we want to know about them. She forgives and forgets in a wink if someone has wronged her. She knows the name of every character of every story that she has ever known. Why? Because of autism.
She can let out the biggest belly laugh and light up the room. She can be excited about seeing the mallard duck arrive every spring. She changes the bath tub in her doll house into a bed for a doll, or a storybook picture page into a place where tiny doll figures play. Why? Because of autism.
Because of autism, there is both hindrance and hope. Why couldn’t we just have the latter? Because- period.
You have been able to do that because God’s Holy Spirit is in you. He is more powerful than the spirit that belongs to this world. 1 John 4:4 Easy English Bible Version