on the spectrum

‘Can I give the a tree a hug?’ She tells me her brain is stuck. ‘Why is the sun shining?’: Caretaker of an autistic child insists ‘I am a better person because of her. I see the world in a changed way.’

“I said, ‘Break a leg!’ She got furious and started yelling at me, ‘Why do you want me to break a leg?? She takes things exactly the way they are, what you say is what she hears, and she processes the language just as it’s spoken. Katy has her own unique way of thinking, which I adore.”

‘I find you arrogant, rude, disrespectful and jealous.’ A workplace conflict left me hurt. She didn’t believe a single word.’: Woman learns of autism diagnosis at 23, ‘I finally learned the truth. I am not broken’

“Teachers would say, ‘Lauren is very polite, gifted, such a cute little girl.’ My peers started to reject me. My school life was marred by rumors and taunts. I began to tell myself, ‘There is something wrong with you.’ I could never remember to bathe. I once went half a year without washing my hair. At age 23, I finally learned the truth. I am autistic. I am not broken.”

‘If they don’t like it, it’s their problem.’ Sophie was always a very quiet child. She never cried. We were frightened something happened.’: Dad and daughter both find out they are autistic at the same time

“My wife just thought I was weird and Sophie was a chip off the old block. More than just acting like her Daddy, she was autistic like her Daddy. My hope is she meets a partner who loves and understands her and she has 3 autistic daughters so I can have 3 autistic granddaughters!”

‘My family said, ‘I told you so.’ Why didn’t I notice it? I wanted to pretend it never happened.’: Mom first denies son’s autism diagnosis, now advocates for ‘acceptance, inclusion’

“We vacuum when he’s not home, use the blender in the garage and I can’t blow dry my hair unless he’s asleep. Once he sees the appliance, it’s an instant tantrum. Truth be told, I’m scared. Scared he’ll be bullied for being different. I’m so, so, terrified of that. ‘Is he going to live a ‘normal’ life? Will he get married, have kids?’ I still feel broken at times.”

‘That’s you!’ my wife said. I watched the TV screen carefully. Suddenly, my whole life made sense. I am autistic.’: Man discovers he’s autistic at age 32, now ‘happy, flourishing’

“Growing up, my mom always slapped me when I acted ‘weird,’ calling me ‘broken.’ I gave up on being loved and turned violent. I just felt angry all the time. I stopped caring about everything, especially myself, and contemplated suicide. Then, I met Sylvia. She understood me, she saw past the self loathing and the anger. She saw the real me, the loving me. She broke down the barrier I had put up to protect myself. I wanted to change for her. I wanted to deserve her.”

‘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.”

‘She was always the star student. When the flapping started, we assumed even her excitement was advanced. Everyone thought I was nuts.’: Autistic daughter changes mom’s perspective on autism

“At Easter dinner when Campbell piped up, ‘We’re about to enjoy a beautiful feast with our friends and family,’ I was met with many an eye roll—this girl was fine. But only I knew that line was taken right from a book we had read months ago. You see, Campbell was a tricky one.”

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