mom and son in a field

Photo: Laney Photography

About two years ago my son and I were waiting in line at Walmart. He was sitting in the cart happily flapping and stimming as we waited. A lady, waiting in line behind us, started talking to him. When he didn’t respond I explained to her that he was non-verbal and on the autism spectrum. She immediately proceeded to thank me and tell me how great it was that I wasn’t ashamed to bring him out and about in the community.

I will never be ashamed that my son has autism. It’s one of the many parts of him that contribute to making him the amazing little boy that I love and adore.

No one could ever take over the space in my heart that he fills with his spins, squeals, smiles, jokes, and flaps. These things are mixed in amongst deep love, hope, and faith.

There is no room for shame here.

I’m not ashamed of autism and you shouldn’t be either because it’s not about a diagnosis.

It’s about the person.

My son brings so much more to this world than autism. He is smart, funny, charming, handsome, witty, kind, brave, loving.

I would hate for anyone to miss out on the positive bright light that he shines because they are consumed by the negatives.

Don’t miss out on something that could be amazing just because it could also be difficult.

Autism may look hard and challenging on the outside but he lives it every day from within.

Why would I punish him with shame for a life circumstance that he has absolutely no control over?

I will always take my son into the community. I will always encourage and support him. I will always hope for progress for him. I will always advocate for him. I will always walk beside him. I will always be his dance partner even when there is no music. I will always ensure that he is treated with respect and dignity because he is a human being and deserves to be treated as such.

As I watch this bright, brave boy climb mountains and shatter all the naysayers, I feel nothing but pride and gratitude because he’s mine and I am blessed beyond measure to be his Mama.

 

This post originally appeared on Stalen’s Way Facebook page.