My dad suggested that I write a post about what I wished I could have told them when I was young and unable to communicate. He thought that a lot of parents might want to hear that. So, I’m going to write it as a list.
My top ten list for autism.
1. Mom, please don’t cry. I know that you are so worried about me but be assured that I’m going to be ok. My life won’t be what you had dreamed of for me but I’ll still find a way to make it be a meaningful one.
2. Mom, thank you. I see the effort that you put in every day in trying to help me and I am so appreciative that I have a mother who cares so much. You have given up your life and sometimes your happiness for me and I cannot ever repay you.
3. Mom and Dad, you need to go out on a date. Both of your lives revolve around mine too much. Take care of each other too.
4. Mom and Dad, stop and smell the roses. You both can do things for yourselves sometimes. I’ll still be here and will still be autistic, even if I do get that extra therapy session tonight.
5. I just want to eat some real pizza! Quit trying to give me the cardboard box! I appreciate the effort, though, and know it is in my best interest.
6. Ben, I am sorry that we can’t go outside and play like normal siblings. I’m sure you feel gypped and so do I. I’m always watching you though. I love you so much and am so thankful that you are my brother. You make me laugh on the inside, even if I’m not laughing on the outside. I do get all of your jokes.
7. Ben, you are an awesome brother. You are kind and patient and have also sacrificed your life in many ways for mine. Be proud of how you’ve handled it all.
8. Dad, thanks for always pushing me to do normal things as much as I can. I love it when we go running, hiking, skiing, biking, backpacking. It is when I feel the least autistic. Those are the best moments.
9. Thank you for teaching me about God. That is the only way I’m getting through this. And yes, I am listening to what you are saying. Each time I look away, I’m very frequently trying harder to concentrate on hearing your words. I can’t look at you and hear you at the same time. So try not to force that.
10. I do like to be hugged and touched even if I turn away. Again, I just can’t make my body hug back all of the time.
11. I must have some down time every day to recharge my battery. Without it, I can’t function. Give me that opportunity no matter how late it is.
12. Don’t ever give up on teaching me things. I’ll get it, it just takes longer.
13. After I learn something, help me practice it a lot. That’s the only way it sticks.
14. Remember that the words that I speak are not the words that I am thinking. That is why I’m so very grateful that you helped me learn how to type. Without that, I’d be doomed to never have anyone understand the true me.
15. I love you. You are my rocks in a very sandy world. Thank you.
Aaron. Autism expert. Voice for the voiceless. Never give up.