Voices of Autism: ‘Trapped in Your Own Head’
Every day throughout April–Autism Awareness Month–we will be featuring a different reader-submitted story about living with autism. Today’s story was written by Amber Ayers, mother of Xavier, 7, and author of the blog Autism Supermom.
This story begins with a boy named Xavier with a big diagnosis of moderate-to-severe autism. Our family story revolves around autism. Not a moment goes by that we are unaffected by the “Big A.” As parents, it is difficult to accept such a large label on our sweet curly-haired boy. It’s nearly impossible to remember time B.A.–Before Autism. There is no getting off this ride.
Since before age 3, X has gone to intensive therapies, giving every ounce to say the word “momma,” and learning to live in a world that does not understand him. Challenges? We have more than a few, but what I want the world to know is the blessings that come with it all.
My family is by no means “cookie cutter.” We strive daily to do our best while overcoming obstacles that few who have not lived it can imagine. I just desire understanding and acceptance. Don’t feel sorry for me because my child has autism, feel love in your heart for a boy so intelligent, with so much to say, but who can’t get the words out. Be amazed by the obstacles he overcomes daily. Allow him to impress you with his computer genius. With a smile that could light up any room.
X is learning to speak more clearly in his own time. He can’t be measured by any “normal” progress chart. His vocabulary consists of, at most, 20 decipherable words. Often he is very loud and vocal, which throws some people off. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that he has so much to say. Imagine being trapped in your own head, unable to fully express your needs, wants, desires. My son has learned such independence. He is unique, graceful, genius, and beautiful.
With the birth of his baby brother, X has learned that he will have a best friend for life: a bodyguard, a videogame comrade, and most of all, someone to help him learn how to be a wonderful big brother. It has taken a year to get him to sit by his brother on the bed and not be anxious. It was 100% worth the wait, as he now hugs, kisses, and comforts his brother. He understands that the little King Dragon is here to stay. The baby loves his big brother ferociously, babbling for “bubba” all day long. He is our little King, a tiny warrior. Born in April, I am sure he is here to help make the world better.
My wish, this April and every day of the year, is for everyone to be more understanding and accepting of special needs. If you see a child having a meltdown, don’t assume he or she is bad. Lend a hand, or at the very least, a friendly smile. Educate yourself on something affecting 1 in 110 children. The future depends on learning to accept people as they are. If we learn to embrace autistic individuals, our world could be extraordinary.Add a Comment