.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Autism Story

Yesterday, Ashlyn and I had a great car talk.  We had a long ride home, the little ones where falling asleep and I can't remember how it came up but we started talking about what she feels people do not understand about her.  She amazed me, not for the first time, with how well she is able to articulate how it feels to be her.  Here was her list...
1) I just want to be like everyone else 
2) I listen the best when I don't have to look at you
This is the one that blew me away...
3) My art teacher says "Draw what you know not what you think.  Don't draw what you think a tree looks like, draw what you see when you look at a tree." That is how I am, don't tell me something if it is what you think, only tell me it if it is a fact.  It is too hard for me to figure out the other stuff.  
There have been a million times when Ashlyn has gotten upset over something not happening like it was supposed to and I always thought it was just the change in schedule and never thought about the deeper meaning of why.  The more we talked about #3, she helped me to understand that it has so much more to do with needing things to be concrete and factual.  So telling her "I think we might go to the park" is like nails on a chalkboard.  Either we are going or we are not, she does not need the fluffy stuff in between and I can appreciate that.

The list continued with things like "I don't like cleaning my room" and "I want to be on the honor roll" and other less philosophical statements but I thought that what she started with was amazing.  I wish there was someone like her for me to talk to when she was younger and could not articulate what it was like to live in her world.  Teenage Ashlyn could have helped me out immensely with little Ashlyn.

I have been thinking about our conversation all day and about the journey we have been on that has gotten us to where we are today, a few weeks shy of her 8th grade graduation.  Ashlyn and autism have taught me so much.

So I am adding this to my long list of things that Ashlyn has taught me...
There is no perfect road to follow and no matter what path you take it is a long, bumpy, exhausting ride.  But there will be a day like this, when you feel the rewards of all of your travel and you can look at the only tour guide you've ever had and thank God that they are able to read you part of the map.

6 comments:

Heather said...

What a sweet moment for mother and daughter. It's wonderful that you have a relationship that allows you to listen (when you finally get a quiet moment) and that she is willing and able to explain herself.

Shiri Briseno said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, I needed to hear something positive and wonderful today. We had a very difficult day yesterday and I think I'm still kinda spinning in it today, well I was until I read your post. Rough days will be there but there are also some wonderful wonderful days in there too, and as difficult as autism can be it can be such a blessing as well thanks for reminding me of that, and thanks for teaching me that sometimes I need to see the world as Isaac does.

Marianne said...

What an amazing post! Ashlyn is and always will be an amazing person. She has brought so much to our family and taught us many lessons like todays. You should be very proud of this journey you have gone through together.

Christina said...

That was so sweet. You guys are lucky to have each other.

Nan & Mike said...

Beautifully expressed, and what a wonderful insight to the world she sees. Hugs!!! xxx

Letherton said...

awww very sweet

I stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi.
Take a minute an check my blog out if you haven't already.
I have lots of great giveaways going on.
Thanks :)

ethertonphotography.blogspot.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...