I’ll sit with you in the dark.
For as long as you need.
I’ll sit with you quietly in solidarity because I’ve traveled this road. My son, Stalen, was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at 21 months. He is now 6 and non-verbal.
Autism is challenging. It can be isolating and overwhelming. It is a level of hard unfamiliar to many. When I knew that Stalen was autistic, I sat in the dark a lot. I knew nothing and no one with autism. I researched and cried for days. I mourned. I got angry. I questioned my faith. I doubted myself and everything I knew.
Eventually, I found my people, friends who knew autism because they were living with it. They sat with me in the dark. They listened and didn’t judge. They read my messages and sent texts. They sent me pictures of things that they saw that they thought would help Stalen.
They care. They try. They show up.
They never tried to drag me into the light. They knew that this journey, the choice to let the light in, was my choice to make.
They help me pick myself up from the bad and they help me celebrate the good.
I will be your light keeper.
I will be your lifeline into the bright.
I will sit with you in the dark.
I will hold onto the light for you, ensuring it’s perfectly ready for when you are.
I will encourage and support you, silently, virtually, when you need it most.
I will be there on diagnosis day and all the days after, in your darkest moments, when the world of autism is closing in on you. When you feel trapped, with no escape from your worries and fears.
I will remind you that your child is amazing and you are unrivaled as their expert, biggest fan, and loudest advocate.
I will remind you that you can do hard things.
You and your child are unstoppable. I will be right there watching as you move the biggest mountains and break the barriers.
It may not be today, tomorrow, or next month . . . but one day friend, we will sit in the sun. Together.
My hand is outstretched, reaching toward yours.