Most people hear about the struggles with autism, and yes there are many, but there’s beautiful side to the spectrum as well. I feel like my 4 year old has been able to enjoy the magical and innocent part of life longer. She sees beauty and fun all around her. A simple ding and light in an elevator can bring a smile and joy in her eyes that reminds me to find and appreciate the little things and moments to enjoy the way she does. When she hugs me, she really hugs me and I can feel so much love and happiness coming from her.
Of course, when she doesn’t like something, she really doesn’t like it and lets us and everyone else around us know. We can all feel her discontent, but it gives me a moment to connect with her, to get to her level and let her know it’s okay, to breathe with her and rock her until she’s okay. And once she’s okay she really is and moves on and goes back to whatever makes her happy. We could all definitely learn from that, sometimes things are bad but there is so much more out there that makes us happy.
While her language is limited her heart definitely is not. She shows us her heart everyday through laughter and song. Singing was one of the first ways she learned to communicate with us. She sings all the time with so much joy that it brings happiness to everyone around her. She sings without fear of who might hear her, in fact she wants everyone to hear her and I wish I had that pure confidence. She lives her best life just how she wants and doesn’t worry what anyone else might think and we all could take a page from her book on how to be purely happy.
Her blissful face when she feels the wind blowing through her hair reminds me how beautiful the world truly is. She sees beauty everywhere and I’m so happy to have her by my side reminding me of the beauty and fun I’ve been overlooking and taking for granted. While most of us grow up to quickly and become painfully aware of what everyone else thinks my beautiful little rainbow is living her happy life in her own world just a little longer and I appreciate that so much.
Learn more about autism, early screening and find resources at Autism Speaks.