Through their eyes – by Estrella Azul

On Christmas Eve they all got dressed up and went to church. This was a sure break in their daily routine, they haven’t been out together in a while.

During the sermon people kept glancing their way, some staring rudely.

The parents got teary numerous times, they were a trifle embarrassed and tired which only added to the feeling of helplessness. They tried to convince their boy that everything was okay, that they had to be quiet for a bit and that they’d get to go home soon.

The boy didn’t understand what was asked of him. He continued to flap his hands, make sounds, roll his head and rock his body throwing a mild tantrum, his incurable disorder detaining him from settling on one activity, such as drawing.

The parents knew their child was unable to focus on the task at hand because he was so focused on everything else going on in the background. While everyone else heard the pastor telling the sermon, the boy heard the pages of every Bible in the church being turned, the tiny little error with the speakers, every couple’s whispered conversation, and could smell every cologne and perfume in the room, every pet that had rubbed against their master before they left for church… his heightened senses simply incapable of taking it all in.

It was so heart wrenching for them to see some people’s frustrated and impatient looks and some people’s understanding looks, although no one could ever fully understand what their handsome boy and their family was going through each day unless going through a similar situation.

They thought about Christmases before the diagnosis, but they sure found that parenting an autistic child came with many rewards despite all the difficulties, added responsibilities and struggle. Or perhaps because of these things.

As they learned to come to terms with this cruel change to their family’s life by autism, they slowly began and by now could clearly see the many ways in which their child was like other family members, rather than just how he was different.

Small achievements, taken for granted by an average family, were the source of so much joy and celebration.

When asked, putting aside all the normally felt frustrations that came with it, these parents can still honestly answer that parenting their special needs child made them better people, stronger, more loving and tolerant, lending a new and more satisfying perspective to life.

This story is based on the impressions I got from most of the people sitting around me towards a family I saw in church on Christmas Eve and what little I know about their life.

I am forever grateful to Deanna Schrayer for reading this story, her suggestions and explanations helping me better understand what is behind the scenes for the general public.

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37 Comments to “Through their eyes – by Estrella Azul”

  1. Other people’s intolerance or acceptance really shows around a special needs child. You’ve shown the different reactions here, and the simple joys expressed by the family for feats that others take for granted. Very moving piece.

  2. Touching story. What a good read!

  3. Such a heartbreaking story! You’re very gifted to write like this!

  4. Hi. I came about my way onto your web site and simply wanted to compose a quick mention about this. I actually appreciate what you written here. God’s blessings!

  5. @ All

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I’m so glad to have you all here!

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