April 2nd 2015 is World Autism Day. To commemorate this day you’ll see many buildings and structures around the world lit up in blue, or you may read one of the many news stories or articles in the papers. Most of these articles will focus on the elemental mechanics of autism and also on the current research being done to try and find the possible causes of autism. I highly recommend that you take in some of this information as it is informative and eye-opening.
In my own way, I wanted to commemorate World Autism Day by focusing on the beauty that we see in our daughter because of – and in spite of – her autism diagnosis.
Every child/person with autism holds an inner energy and beauty that is there for all of us to see. We just have to look closely, pay attention, peel away the layers of the “autistic” manifestations and see that beauty unfold before our very eyes.
The Beautiful You
You are first and foremost our beautiful daughter. You are also a child with autism and because of this, recognize that humanity may appraise you only against the scales of limits and frailties. Recognize, more importantly, that those who assess you within such limited parameters are themselves revealing their own misconceptions and fears. Your innate gift to us all is to demonstrate that you are so much more than what the confines of autism may dictate. It is also precisely because of autism that we are blessed with the opportunity to appreciate the unique and beautiful you through a different lens.
I know that you don’t perceive yourself as being “different” from anyone else and for this, I am profoundly grateful. Have faith that the simplicity of your self-awareness is not at all a disability, but rather, an extraordinary gift. You see, it’s this very immunity from that discernment which defines the beautiful you and accords us the authentic joy you so candidly bring into our lives.
This world is in many respects a puzzling and often bewildering place for you. There are many who might be immune to the personal cost of the daily demands placed upon you but I know the tremendous energy it extracts from the essence of who you are. And yet you rise to the occasion of your daily challenges with that ever present smile and a sincere desire to please those of us who solicit your acquiescence in all that we ask you to do. This remarkable spirit characterizes the beautiful you.
You possess a natural and unwavering capacity to provoke laughter and delight wherever you go. Your quirky sense of humour, your flair for proclaiming the unexpected and even your seemingly peculiar behaviours all combine to express that sparkling charm that is so central to the beautiful you.
In a world often plentiful with pretense and duplicity you shower us refreshingly with innocence, naiveté and candour. It is a welcome respite to strive to see things from your uncomplicated perspective. I firmly believe that this is all part of the greater design of your essential purpose in this life. You have taught me the substance of what really counts, the importance of maintaining a balanced horizon and how to find a reason to smile even in the darkest of times. For all of this, I am so profoundly grateful for the beautiful you.
I know all the losses that autism brings. I am keenly aware that the weave of the fabric of our lives is at times frayed and torn. I realize that you will forever depend upon us to be your voice. But more importantly, I know the joy you inspire in me each and every day. I am keenly aware of your incredible capacity to bestow upon us your unconditional love. And I realize that I would not be the measure of person I am today without you.
I pray that you know how deeply you are loved.
I wish that you never lose grasp of your innocence.
I hope that you will always laugh just the way you do.
Know that you are a courageous and tender heart.
Know that I am truly blessed to call you my daughter.
And always remember that you are quite simply, the beautiful you.
By Nadine from Kingston