Different levels of autistic impairment
There are of course several levels of autism and some children will be more functional than others. I recently had the privilege in sharing in the joy a personal friend of mine has with two autistic sons when his 21-year-old autistic son graduated from high school. The joy of this father and the pride he displayed is priceless. I admire my friend and I take pride in his son’s accomplishments. I also know how hard this man has worked to get his boys up to the level of functioning that they are experiencing at this moment. My friend Joe is a parent among parents and a model for all caregivers.
Jason Goldman thought his son did not know the difference between his parents and the couch. He soon found that his son knew the difference; he just did not know how to show it. My friend believed in the potential of his boys from the very beginning and his boys responded in kind. The children are different and their level of functioning is different. Even though they are boxed in the category of autism they have proven that we should never box them in further by our own biases and misunderstanding of the disorder. We must always keep an open mind and constantly find ways of making their lives better.
The message here is never to give up. Give your autistic child the benefit of the doubt. Though you may not know what is locked up in his or her mind, your love and guidance, such as displayed by my friend Joe on a daily basis is what will make your child’s life worth living. That psychological support will carry your children through their entire lives, even they do not appear to be able to reciprocate.
Big Blue Hug