"Autism Awareness" and "Autism Acceptance" are catchy phrases with a play on both words beginning with the letter "A" ... And it truly is a beautiful thing when people are familiar with the word autism and demonstrate compassion when they learn that our son's diagnosis.
But as an Autism Mommy, my wish is for "Autism Understanding". What do I mean? I find that even as Bryce's parent, it's a struggle to understand his thoughts. He receives and processes information in a different way than I do. Four years into this journey, I have done my due diligence and have learned A L O T about autism - and yet some days, it feels like I am back to square one trying to decipher the newest behavior that popped into our home.
Awhile back, I changed my prayer from "changing" Bryce to "understanding" Bryce. I began to pray for God to give me more wisdom and insight to understand what he is trying to communicate to me through his limited vocabulary and his actions/behaviors. I can see God answering my prayers when I am able to "crack the code" and help my boy when he is struggling to communicate with us.
There are times that my husband, Chris, and I have to be detectives. We step back, identify the clues, and solve the case together to get Bryce back on track. Let there be no doubt, it is complicated - yet is also very rewarding. We are frequently reminded that God chose US to be his parents, so we know that He will give us all the answers needed in His perfect timing.
Having said that ... Life can roll fine when we are flowing in our usual routine at familiar places with people who know Bryce and make him feel comfortable. The need for "more understanding" comes into play when we step outside of that comfort zone into the Land of Unpredictable.
Case and Point: Bryce wanted to go to our local train museum earlier this week. He woke up talking about it and was super excited. Bryce was up on the step-stool flapping with excitement as he watched the steam engine round the corner. I was hovering over him to keep him safe from falling.