Autism Is Awesome

Like so many families blessed with children diagnosed with autism, I felt like I was on a different planet. My son never spoke, and after his MMR shot, we noticed a lot of strange behaviors, manifested by hypersensitivity to sounds, colors, and too many people.

My family and I embarked on a journey, looking for clues to the mystery unfolding before us. Mostly by intuition, we put together techniques to help him, and us: providing a highly structured environment, applying deep, calming pressure when needed, calling ahead, always calling ahead to explain our approach to autism. Every restaurant, kids party, trips to Disney World, every situation had to be structured to help Kirk and make social occasions possible and enjoyable.

Now, Kirk is 22, highly verbal, and flourishing in a part-time job, independent living, a close-knit circle of friends. Now, I’m free to help other families. This story title came from Kirk. He realizes autism is just one more thing that makes him “awesome.”

Joan Summa
Hurleyville, NY

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