When the therapist said the word “Autism”, I barely heard her over the sound of the hammer falling in my mind. Could barely think over the screaming of that voice in my head (the one that hates me). “See?” It yelled, “I told you! You are a terrible mother. You failed. You failed her before she even reached kindergarten.” I mourned as if it were a death sentence, not for Emily but for the adult I had pictured she would become. When I heard “Autism”, I saw my visions fade. My visions of Emily at an Ivy league college, my visions of Emily as a doctor, or lawyer, or scientist. MY visions of who Emily should be.
How stupid I was. How selfish and ignorant and STUPID. There is no mourning who Emily is not, only celebrating who she IS. Emily is funny and witty and sweet. Emily loves trains and outer space and baking. Autism is not a sentence. Autism is just a word. A word that Emily doesn’t even know, nor does she care.
My daughter cannot be defined by a single word. My daughter cannot be ‘fixed’, she isn’t broken! She does not ‘live in her own little world’, she just sees the world a little differently than most. She can talk, you just have to be willing to listen. She can learn, you just have to be willing to teach. And she can teach us all a thing or two about how to look at the world through her eyes.
Aspergers is something that Emily has, it is not who she is. Who Emily is cannot be summed up by all the doctors in the world.