autistic

‘Charlie?! CHARLIE!’ My son wouldn’t look at me anymore. I didn’t even recognize him. My entire world came crashing down. The doctor told me ‘not to worry’. I later learned how wrong she was.’

“It all happened so fast. He stopped speaking altogether. I wasn’t hearing his sweet little voice saying ‘thank you’ after I gave him a cookie. He didn’t like to be touched anymore. He avoided people, even us, his parents. I wasn’t prepared to hear the diagnosis. It hit me hard. My jaw dropped.”

‘Oh my Gosh, she’s a baby. ‘I’m saying yes,’ I typed to him in Afghanistan. ‘Say yes,’ he responded simultaneously. ‘We’ll take her!’ I nearly shouted into the phone.’

“‘Dad has to move to Colorado,’ I told our sons. ‘He doesn’t have a choice’ ‘We’re not leaving her, right?,’ Aidan interrupted, his tone laced with terror. ‘We can’t just leave her!’ His voice was sandpaper rough, speaking the words I couldn’t. ‘We…we might have to make a tough decision.’ ‘I know,’ I whispered.”

‘I got on the bus. 3 boys yelled at me, ‘Hey white boy!’ ‘Mom, I was nervous.’ After all, I was the only white boy on the bus. They asked if I use the N-word. ‘No,’ my Stepdad is black. He’s my family.’

“Austin, my son with autism, asked him, ‘Have you killed anyone in a war?’ I quickly tried to hush him up. He looked at Austin and said, ‘No, but I know bullets can kill.’ Austin looked perplexed. ‘Do you like video games?’ ‘Yes, I love video games.’ Austin smiled from ear to ear.”

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