turning 5

‘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.”

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