"I thought you had it easier, don't tell me it is still going to be hard!" Recent words from a dear friend whose little spectrum man is in Prep.
Autism Spectrum Disorder. Asperger Syndrome. A way of life. A lifelong disorder which doesn't miraculously vanish.
My oldest son is an amazing young man. But he is still on the autism spectrum. My oldest son is exceptionally bright, intelligent, smart... whatever you want to call it, but he still has Asperger Syndrome. His inner light can be dulled, crippled by his anxiety and stress. Strangled by isolation and assumptions of others.
My boy is compassionate, wise, inspiring and giving. But with change all this can be masked under uncertainty, fear, misjudgement.
New people look at him and they see only the label. Lost is the security of the school he attended for seven years, lost is the knowledge of what an incredible journey it has been, lost are his achievments in winning through some of the crippling challenges life has thrown his way, lost is the vision of his personal growth and amazing strength and beautiful heart.
Lost. They only see today.
We knew it was going to be hard.
And it is.
We just have to believe his light will shine through once more.
We know it will.
I just sometimes wonder why life has to be so damn painful for these kids. The most special kids I know. The ones who take your breath away with their ability to forgive.
He is not a label. He is Lewis.
Remember his name, for one day you will sit back in awe and say "I know that boy."
P.S. This is the reason I called a halt to any movement on his book. I am his advocate, HIS. For him to add the stress of the trail to publication onto this massive change year... well, it would not be a positive for HIM.
It is not forever, and as I explained to him, it will always be the book you wrote at thirteen, no matter how old you are when published.
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