April is Autism Awareness month. But as my friend Jessi always likes to say, it’s ALWAYS Autism Awareness month in our house. I feel ya, Jess! She’s got TWO boys on the spectrum, whereas I’ve got just my one girl. And believe me, having a girl with autism has its own set of challenges. But you know something? I wouldn’t change a damned thing.
Just about twelve years ago, I delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl. My dreams had come true. All I had ever wanted was a daughter I could spoil, dress up and watch grow into a little version of myself: the ultimate ego trip. I was 26 when I conceived. I was eager to be a mom; it was all I really wanted.
The first year of my daughter’s life went as expected. She reached all of the appropriate milestones at the appropriate times. That is, until she reached her second birthday. It was at her birthday party that I could no longer ignore the truth. The other children her age were fascinated by the party games, the gifts Zoë was opening, and most importantly, each other. Zoë was only interested in the wrapping paper. It wasn’t easy hearing the diagnosis soon after, nor was it particularly easy coping with the new paradigm but I know…
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