I had a lengthy talk today with a mom who had a child diagnosed with autism. I was so amazed at how this friend of mine talked so openly about her son’s condition, with neither shame nor anger. Her son was diagnosed with autism before he turned 2. Since then, it’s been a life of research, attending conferences and therapies for her son. After 6 years, her son has shown a lot of improvement and is very functional.
I asked her what single, most important advice would she give to other parents who are going through the same thing. She said it in one word: Acceptance. Unless a parent accepts that her child has autism, he really will not take the necessary steps to deal with it. And with autism, the earlier you intervene, the higher chances for improvement. That is why acceptance is key.
According to her, it is not hard to identify the signs. Usually, an autistic child does not socialize with others. He prefers to be by himself and does not establish eye contact. He doesn’t like to be in loud, crowded places like parties or malls. He likes to line up things like blocks, or toy cars or anything he can get his hands on. And he has language delay. If you see these signs in your child, it is best to have him checked right away.
Psalm 127:3 says that “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.”
I honor this friend of mine, because inspite of her son’s condition, she sees him as a reward, a blessing. A child’s value is not based on how he looks, or how smart he is or what he can do. It is based on who he is, and every child is a child of our Heavenly Father.
That makes every child special.