When parents get a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder for their child, it opens them up to a new world of fear and worry for the future. Also, it is natural to wonder if the family will be healthy and if the parents can be happy in this situation. My son is nineteen and I have faced all these fears and more. Here is what I have discovered to be the real deal of having an Autism Spectrum child. Autism Spectrum Disorder is Challenging. There is no doubt that Autism Spectrum Disorder is challenging. I have compared it to a hydra, a snake with many heads. At times, it seems that as soon as one of the challenges of Autism Spectrum is defeated, another problem rears its head. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a formidable foe indeed but I feel that it can be defeated. You Will Learn What Matters. People who do not have a family member or child with Autism Spectrum Disorder are often unconsciously caught up in what others think of them. Like the way a butterfly sheds the chrysalis outwardly, you will quickly shed the restrictions of caring for others' opinions. In short, you will concentrate on what really matters (your child) and realize that what others think is largely irrelevant. This is quite freeing. No Family is Perfect. Over the years of having an Autism Spectrum child and facing those challenges, you will see something that will astonish you: other people's families are not "perfect," either! In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect family, except in that the love that a family shares is perfect. Often times you may wonder what "normal" is. The truth is though, that all families have problems- with or without Autism Spectrum Disorder. One Day the Journey Will End. One fine day you will look up and realize- it is over! I have actually reared my Autism Spectrum child to be an adult. At the end of the journey you will find that you are proud of your family, your Autism Spectrum child and yourself. It is kind of odd to realize that your child is no longer a child anymore, but again this is "normal" in the sense that all parents face this. Did you do your best? Did the challenge bring strengths out in you that you did not know you had?
The above is in my opinion the real deal of having an Autism Spectrum child. Try not to stress the journey too much and don't take yourself too seriously like I did. There will be challenges and hardships but eventually everything will be well in the end. Do your best as a parent and at the end of it remember to help those who come after.