Dear Sandy and Chris,
Welcome to “Parenting Autism”. I know that you didn’t sign up for this lifetime membership. You were chosen. I also know you are full of questions and feel a whirlwind of emotions... And while I cannot give you all of the answers at this time, I can make this promise as it says in Romans 5:4: Patience produces character. Character produces hope.
The autism world is full of beautiful gifts waiting for you once you are ready to receive them. It really is … I promise! I understand that right now you find that hard to believe. You are full of so many feelings …
Surprised that this is autism and not a setback due to Bryce’s brain hemorrhage damage
Lost without a clear written plan to tell you what to do next
Lonely because you don’t think anyone else can understand how you are feeling right now
Anxious because you have been told there is a small window of time to get Bryce the help he so desperately needs
Frustrated because of the massive undertaking to get health insurance to cover the therapies needed
Devastated reading his evaluations that tell you that he is so. far. behind in so. many. areas
Confused when you hear professionals explaining things with unfamiliar jargon that sounds like a foreign language
Guilty that new people that you must trust are taking your two year old son for hours each week to help him with language and motor skills - You didn’t expect him this kind of separation until he was older and attending school.
Sad that so many expectations, dreams, and plans have been shattered
I want you to know that I understand why you have all of these feelings. I created you … and I also created Bryce. I know every single thing about him.
I know the number of hairs on his head.
I know the wiring of his brain. I know the original wiring AND the re-wiring after his stroke.
I know his thoughts. I know how he processes information and emotions.
I know my plans and purpose for him.
I know his special gifts.
I know how long you will be with him here on earth, and I assure you that he will never be alone.
I mentioned the beautiful gifts that parenting autism will bring to you that you would otherwise not experience. Gifts like …
The Gift of Joy– Bryce is blessed with the Spirit of Joy that will also fill you up with joy just being around him. He will bring love and laughter to your home that is beyond what you can begin to imagine at this time.
The Gift of Meaningful Relationships –You will meet others who have also been specially chosen to parent autism - People full of the same love, compassion, and determination that you will discover on this journey. You will be a part of an autism community that will give you encouragement, inspiration, wisdom, and hope that won’t be available from professionals or other parents who do not live in this world.
The Gift of Appreciation – You will be blessed with a gift to recognize and celebrate even the smallest of milestones and accomplishments that Bryce will achieve. You will not take things for granted. You will develop a Spirit of Gratitude that will keep your Blessings Jar full of victories!
The Gift of Increased Faith – You will find that parenting a child with special needs will build your faith in ways that an ordinary path would never provide. You will dig deeper, pray harder, and trust more because of your need to lean on Me for all things beyond your control.
The Gift of Transparency – While many people find it difficult to share the news of autism in their family, you will be given the gift of sharing your story with the world. You were created to bring light and hope to an autism world that can be very dark and desperate at times.
This is a short list of gifts with so many more waiting to be opened by you. Please know that I will hold your hand. Do not fear – I will help you as promised in Isaiah 41:13.
With all my love,
Your Heavenly Father