A Letter to the World About My Autistic Son

Dear World,

Have you ever been so excited about something and you never thought the day would come?

All I ever wanted to be in life was a wife and mother. I couldn’t wait to have babies. Needless to say, I was stoked when I found out I was pregnant with my now seven-year-old little boy.

Truth be told, he is one amazing little guy. Let me tell you a little about him.

Did you know that he could spell words by the age of 2 ½?! Amazing!

He has a smile that can brighten anyone’s day. I love the way he smiles and claps when he watches “Elmo’s World” and “Baby Einstein.” He watches the same exact parts of his favorite episodes over and over daily.  The. Same. Exact. Parts. That is no exaggeration!

When he does something good and is praised, he is on Cloud Nine and claps to his own happy noises! He loves it when he makes his mom happy.

He doesn’t communicate like you and I do. Communication is actually very hard for him. For years he cried and had meltdown after meltdown because he could not communicate. Now, he has an AAC device and we are slowly learning on it.

He has an amazing sense of the world around him. He doesn’t act like he is paying attention, but he is. He may not look at you, but he knows what you are doing.

He has a photographic memory and rarely forgets anything. In many ways he is smarter than the average seven-year-old.

He tells me he loves me in several different ways without words because he can’t speak the words. How do I know he loves me? Well, he touches my hand and pats me. He smiles when I pick him up from school and therapy. He has this amazing “happy” noise that flows out of his mouth and I melt every time I hear it.

He speaks to me through his eyes as well. He rarely makes eye contact with me, but when he does, he speaks volumes. No one else would ever understand this type of language and bond.  It is quite amazing to experience, so don’t be jealous!

He has the most amazing ability to run effortlessly. It’s a dangerous talent and leads to elopement and wandering. However, when I get him in our backyard, he can run for hours on end and never gets out of breath. He loves to run and move. He needs it, truth be told, and we make sure it is coordinated into his daily schedule and routine.

Oh yes, the trampoline. He jumps for hours on end—seriously!

I have never seen a kid love McDonald’s chicken nuggets as much as he does. Chicken nuggets, pizza, and fruit rollups are a few of his favorite (and only) food items. He eats them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My son is an astonishing little boy. He sure makes life interesting. He didn’t sleep for years and only recently has become able to manage all the sensory input from stores and restaurants. His mind and body are fascinating.

He may be a little different than your child or anyone that you know that’s his age. When I became his mother, our life changed and it changed dramatically. In-between all the quirks and chaos of our life, he battles the effects of severe autism daily. We have shed countless tears and gone through much heartache together. I could preach for days on his challenges.

But, instead, I wanted you to know about the amazing little boy that he is and how much joy and sunshine he has brought to my life and the lives of everyone that knows him. He doesn’t let autism define him; instead, he shows the world how awesome autism can be.

Angela Conrad

Angela Conrad is a freelance writer, mom to two boys on the autism spectrum, determined autism advocate, and fun-loving person. When she is not doing her advocacy work, she can be found managing her son’s therapy schedules and all the other crazy things that life brings. She enjoys reading, exercising and helping others.

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