Auggie has Autism………
There. I have finally written the words out.
This is one of the hardest things I have ever written down.
The reason this is hard…it’s not because we are ashamed or worried. I don’t want anyone to look at my son any differently than they did before his diagnosis. The term is no longer used but if this was pre-2013 than the doctors would say he has Asperger’s. They have removed this term and are now just saying that he is high functioning. There is nothing to hold Auggie back from having a completely normal life. He has some challenges he will have to overcome but he will have every opportunity to succeed like everyone else.
This week, we decided to share this on our YouTube channel. That our lives are no different. We will still help Auggie in every way we can. Our biggest fear is that people will treat Auggie differently if they know. This is why we have spent the past few weeks trying to decide if we should put this out there. [Stephenie: I can’t count the number of times people have reacted to this news asking Randy and me if we are ‘okay’ with the diagnosis. It’s hard to explain, but we really are okay. For us (and we’ve talked about this a lot), we’re more overwhelmed by scheduling the appointments, being fulltime working parents, and making time for therapies. I’ve been fortunate to know quite a few people with learning disabilities throughout my life. I learned very early on that not everyone learns the same way that I do, and I just have to appreciate those differences. Not saying that it’s always easy, but we’re trying to really learn how Auggie learns so that we can help him gain the skills he needs to be successful. Really, that’s what I want for anyone with autism, ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, etc. is that we all start appreciating the differences rather than seeing them as a fault.]
We ultimately came to the conclusion it’s too stressful not to share it. To say it out loud. Auggie is the same kid he was and always will be. He will have hurdles that he will have to overcome. The biggest one will be people who do not understand that he is just fine the way that he is. Not saying one is better than another, but Auggie is determined to be Auggie. When he sets his mind to something he will persevere over any challenge that he faces.
We have seen him face every challenge head-on. Whether it has been due to his sensory issues or if it is any other reason, he will put his head down and barrel forward. You try and tell Auggie he can’t do something.
This is not meant to draw attention to Auggie. Actually, it’s the exact opposite. This is the first time we have put to words the challenges we face and are happy to face. My prayer is that no one treats Auggie any differently, he will suceed and he will do it his own way.
We can all learn something from Auggie’s smile and determination.
[Stephenie: It was hard to interject on this post because I feel like Randy captured everything so perfectly. The thing that I have found to be true is that I have never met someone as brave as Auggie. He has a fight in him that is gentle, steadfast, and true. It’s so subtle that if you aren’t paying close attention, you’d miss it. It’s methodical. You can see it in his eyes. It’s this ‘look’ he gets that this ‘scary thing’ is not going to define him…unless it’s a leprechaun or ghost (another story for another day). It makes me wonder how much quiet bravery is missed daily and has made me look at the world through a new lens, which is what I hope this helps others do. I also hope it makes those closest to Auggie step back and truly look at this characteristic with admiration, tenderness, and love.]