If there is one thing that Autism Spectrum Disorder has taught me, it’s to be present in the moment. Individuals with ASD have mastered that. Their world is immediate, now and often urgent.
Our granddaughter, Emily, is 13 years old and we have been living with her diagnosis for 10 years. At first, it moved our earth a bit, and until we found our way, it challenged us to the core. But over time, we realized that Emily’s world was one we had to be a part of if we wanted a quality of life for her and our family. And that world has become a blessing. With all its trials, meltdowns and aggressions, there is an underlying beauty and simplicity.
Emily’s world is bombarded with lights, sounds, people, and impossible tasks, so we have learned to savor the little things – going for a ride in the car, coloring, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, bowling, or just hanging out on our bed. To step back, take a breath, and enjoy the easy, uncomplicated things that make their world easier to live in, are truly a gift to her and to me. For that, I am truly grateful.