autism awarness

‘On Labor Day, I lost my 3-year-old, autistic son at the worst place possible: a water park.’: Mom loses toddler in public scare, says it ‘takes a village’ to ‘save a child’

“He went down the slide, ran a few feet ahead, turned a corner, and was gone. The only thing in front of him was a lazy river with a strong current. I dove in and couldn’t find him. I wish I could say I was distracted by my phone, or talking to a friend, but my eyes never left his body. And yet, he is fast, and he was gone. Guilt has kept me awake every night since.”

‘She was rigid. Not normal toddler tantrums, but unbearable breakdowns. The pride I felt turned into worry.’: Mom of 2 kids with autism says they’ve given her ‘purpose, perspective’

“When I would say, ‘I love you, Campbell,’ she’d reply back, ‘I love you, Campbell.’ There was a disconnect even in our love. Fear gripped me tight. The day she was diagnosed with autism, she’s smiling. I have dark circles under my eyes from crying. Then I got another whammy. My son, a newborn at the time, is also on the spectrum. When he began wandering off on the playground too, I just knew.”

‘You want to ride that roller coster?!’ I asked my son in shock. ‘Sure!’, he replied. My heart was pounding. I was terrified.’: Mother of son with autism surprised by his enthusiasm, learns lesson in overcoming fear

“‘We’re going to die, oh we’re going to die!’ cried out our youngest, sounding more like his brother than himself. Secretly, I feared that myself, but I wasn’t about to say that to him! I closed my eyes in terror. I wanted to put on a brave face for our son who was being even braver than me, but I couldn’t do it. Then came the screams.”

‘My wife must regret spending her life with me. If she met someone different, she’d have perfectly healthy children,’ I told myself. ‘He is one of 34 people known to have this.’ My heart sank. ‘What? In the country?’ ‘No, in the world.’

“I remember thinking, ‘Maybe we just aren’t the best of parents.’ Little did I know my wife was secretly researching and had discovered a condition. One day, she showed me a video. My heart sunk. I felt dizzy. Straight away, I knew this was what our boy had.”

‘As a mom, you just KNOW. Something didn’t feel right. Cars zipped by on the busy street. I trembled as we made our way to the front of the building. We were only a few steps away. I wanted to run, but I didn’t.’

“I wish I could’ve jumped into one of those passing cars and pretended it never happened. That I hitchhiked, ran away, disappeared. I thought we could find someone to ‘fix’ my son. As the woman in the office spoke, I couldn’t take my eyes off her mouth. I knew the word that would come. I didn’t believe her.”

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