I am a very lucky boy. I am raised with the help of many people who love and protect me. First there are my biological parents. A lot of people have a difficult time dealing with the fact that their child was not born typical. My mom said she knew I was special from such an early time this was never a problem for her. My biological father, although he still wants my mom to tell him when I will talk, loves me just for who I am and thinks I am brilliant. He is married to a woman named Eva who has never had children of her own. She has a little easier time making me responsible for my actions at their house than my father does. She makes me behave like all children are expected to behave. Sometimes I don’t like it, but I will be very thankful for it as I grow up and live in a typical world.
My mom is a teacher. She has taught children from academically gifted to learning disabled and everything in-between. She has even taught quite a few kids on the spectrum. I guess those were trial runs for biggest teaching challenge… me! She is loving and most of the time she is patient with me. She is engaged to a man I call DaDa. That and Papa are the only two words I say with any regularity. I will come into mom’s room in the morning and slap the bed and say DaDa if he has already gone to work and I missed it. Unlike so many people who become parents of children on the spectrum by chance, or heredity, or whatever the many causes are… he became my Dada by choice. He is there with me through the triumphs and on the days when it seems all I had learned the day before is gone. He is the foundation of my family and our anchor.
I have a brother who is going to be a senior in high school next year. He hopes he will be going to Appalachian. The greatest thing about him is that he treats me like I am just any regular brother. He irritates me, he wrestles with me, we fight and we hug.
My Papa on the other hand treats me like I am royalty. At his house I am catered to and spoiled in such a way that it can be sickening to an on-looker. I have a four wheeler that he rides in circles around and around his yard as long as I want to. Ride was the word I said last week. I will randomly choose a word sometimes and say it. I may say it once, I may say it twenty times, and then I may say it never again.
This is who I am. Complicated, adored, brilliant, non-verbal, passionated, ands so many other words can be used to discribe me. However, I am autistic. I do not mind being called autistic anymore than any of the other discriptive words. In many ways I would rather be called that than typical.