In my post yesterday, I told you one side of Kaeden's autism. I told you about the frenzy of our morning dealing with his adjustment to the day. But, there is another side to autism, one which may be even more important to address. This is the side of Kaeden that makes me happy, that makes me grateful for autism. He has taught us all so very much. We are learning acceptance more and more as we live with him. He is the most non-judgemental person to live on this planet. He gives lovingly of himself, and is happiest when helping others. He looks beyond what most of us see when coming into contact with other people. He doesn't see an ugly face or a handicap or a physical deformity. He doesn't see someone "not quite all there" or an addicted drug addict. He doesn't see a beauty pageant winner or a top model. He doesn't see a built body or freshly shaved face. What he sees is the person that comes from within. What he sees is a loving heart, a hope to be accepted, and the true value of a person. He is open to any and all people, and is very outgoing when coming into contact with someone that could be a prospective new friend (anyone). While this does have a negative side in that he can't judge the character of a person and could easily be manipulated, the positive side is that everybody is worthy and loved when it comes to Kaeden. His nature is one of acceptance. His heart opens to all those whom the door would normally be closed upon. His acceptance of people is what I am very most proud of in my child. He shows love and has taught me what it means to be nonjudgemental (and I have always considered myself so, but since seeing Kaeden's level of acceptance, I am amazed at how much I had to learn). Anyway, this is the other side to autism, and the only part of autism that I feel accepting of. It has helped my child to know and embrace unconditional love.
My mom posted a comment on my previous entry. She was worried it would hurt my feelings, but it made me instead want to write this post, telling you another side of my beautiful son. There are two sides to every story, and I tend to forget the beauty when I'm standing in the midst of a tornado. But it is definitely there. I am including my mom's comment so that you ahve yet another view of autism from a grandma who is supportive and stands behind her grandson 100%. Here is her comment:
I don't have to wake up every morning in a home with an autistic child, instead I get to wake up every morning wishing my autistic little boy were here to give me a another lesson about the true meaning of LOVE. When he was in America with me last summer I for the first time in my 57 years of life learned what real love was all about, and it was Kaeden who taught me. True love means communicating with "deaf and dumb" parents via hand gestures and lip reading the needs and wants of their baby. It is sitting out on the sidewalk with a homeless man and discussing his plans for the day because you really do care. It is finding a bowl to put water in for a travelers puppy. It is giving treats to children whos mommy said she couldn't afford it, and giving a lady "Hells angel" on the back of a Harley a break from the wind in her face. In general it is bringing a smile to a face that is otherwise distraught from fear, thirst, hunger or pain.It is taking a gift from God and giving it to another because they are special and so are you. This is what living with my autistic Kaeden is all about!!!!And while his mommy holds his heart the closest, his daddy yearns for a little more patience, and his brother strives for normalacy, they are all enriched beyond what we'll ever know because Kaeden is in their lives every minute of everyday. No I don't live the daily "grind" but I know about it. My daughter shares everything with me, from the early morning episodes to the night time hugs and "tuckins". And we both thank God for the true meaning of the LOVE of Kaeden.
So, what is autism? Well, quite simply, it is love, complete, unconditional, and deep. Just ask my mom!! :-)