My dear Avery,
One year ago you were diagnosed.
One year ago, I heard the doctor quietly say, “I think, excuse me, she does have autism.”
I held onto the phrase “different not less.” In the weeks that followed I would tell you, “Things are different, they are not less. You might think differently than some, but you are not less. Life is hard, but you have not made it less.”
This year has made me a better mother, wife, daughter, and sister.
It has made me a better person.
Oh, how it has made me stronger. I’m surprised my hair is not falling out or gray.
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When you were diagnosed, I made it my mission to make you “quirky” like the doctor said you could be. She even said you could fall off the autism spectrum someday. I was determined to do everything possible to make things as normal as they could be.
I sit here now and realize my view has changed considerably.
You are different—you are more.
You think differently because you are better.
Some days are challenging because you are trying so hard.
You have made me better because you are simply amazing.
You see, I stopped trying to make you different. At first I thought because you were different, I had to change you. Sometime in the last year, I changed my thinking because your happiness and well-being are my top priority.
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It is true . . . you are different not less.
But it is more true that because you are different, you are indeed more.
At first, it felt like giving up, but that is exactly the opposite. We aren’t giving up, we are going forward.
Thank you for bringing me into your world and making my life more. I love you, my AV baby.
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page