Voices of Autism: ‘Really Grateful She Is Mine’

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 the mother of a 4-year-old who asked that their names not be used. She is the author of the blog Spectrummy Mummy’s Blog:

The most important thing you need to know about my kid with autism, is that she is just a kid. Like many 4-year-old girls living in the U.S., she loves Sesame Street, Disney Princesses, dressing up, and anything pink. More than anything in the world, I just want her to have the full experience of being a kid. She deserves that.

Like any ordinary girl, she wants friends, but she has some challenges that sometimes impact that. She is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which means that her language and cognitive abilities are less impaired than other children on the autism spectrum. However, she still has huge gaps in her abilities. She finds it difficult to maintain the back-and-forth of a conversation. Taking turns and waiting her turn are also challenging for her. Of course, these are the very skills a child needs to make friends.

As with many others on the autism spectrum, she also has some differences in her sensory processing. All her senses are a little off, and this makes her behavior confusing to interpret. Often she will bounce up and down, spin around, or flap her hands to get extra input to her body. She has difficulty processing sounds, and sometimes noises are too loud, or speech is jumbled up and impossible for her to understand. Sometimes she is overwhelmed by all this input, and it causes her to lose control and have a meltdown. She isn’t throwing a tantrum, or being disobedient. She is a child who just can’t take any more.

I’ve been humbled by my daughter’s determination to learn things that don’t come naturally to her. Tiny milestones that would have been ignored are celebrated for the small miracles that they are. I don’t take anything for granted. She inspires me to make the world a better place for her to live in.

When she was first diagnosed, I felt too ordinary to raise such an extraordinary child. I began reading blog posts written by other parents about their amazing children, and I found solace in knowing that I wasn’t alone. Eventually I began a blog myself to tell the world about my daughter and about the joys and challenges of raising a child on the spectrum. Writing has not only helped me to advocate for her and those like her, but it has also introduced me to an incredible community of dedicated families just like ours.

She is just a kid, but an extraordinary kid. A kid like 1 in 110. She could be your daughter, your niece, your child’s friend or classmate. But I’m really grateful that she is mine.

To read previous stories in this series, click here. For instructions on how to submit your story, click here.

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  1. by Alysia

    On April 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

    This is beautiful. I’m so grateful that she’s yours too, and that you chose to share her story with us.
    I’m also eternally grateful for you and how much you have taught me. Thank you.

  2. by Fiona

    On April 10, 2011 at 8:39 am

    So proud of you!
    You daughter is so very blessed to have a mum like you :)

  3. by Carolina

    On April 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Lady J you are such an inspiration!

  4. by Ilene

    On April 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing! It’s so nice to read all the stories and see the diversity of AUTISM.

  5. by Laura

    On April 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Just beautiful. Wow. Thank you for sharing.

  6. by Cheryl D.

    On April 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    What a beautiful post! I love it! Our children are extraordinary, aren’t they?

  7. by jfb57

    On April 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Having been a HT I have had the privilege to see so many wondrous things being achieved by little ones against all odds! visiting via Bog Gems!

  8. by Tilly Tatas

    On April 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Visiting via Blog Gems. Spectrummy Mummy could be talking about my Nipper. He is 4 and recently diagnosed with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and he also has a language processing problem. Our special needs kids are amazing and sometimes I wonder just how they manage to get through the day with all the challenges that they have to overcome.

  9. by D. S. Walker

    On April 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I love your story. Thank you for sharing it and helping educate others about girls on the high end of the autism spectrum.

  10. by Jersey

    On April 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    gorgeous girl and her mommy. Thanks for sharing your story.

  11. by sarah

    On April 11, 2011 at 7:50 am

    just beautiful… thank you for sharing your story!

  12. by Spectrummy Mummy

    On April 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you all for your kind comments.

    Thanks also to Parents for giving me and the other autism parents a space to share our stories. This is what Autism Awareness Month is all about.