Lately, I have been approached by people sharing their views about kids with Autism and Autism in general. Many positive or at least realistic but also some extremely negative. The one I would like to address this morning, once again, is whether or not a child with Autism can ever amount to anything or be successful in life. Success is a relative term and so everyone has a different definition of what success is. Success becomes even more difficult to define when we are talking about a child with Autism. Autistic children kinda live life “outside the box”. So the standards that we, as society, use to base success on simply don’t apply here.
Societies definition of success tends to gravitate towards things like money, power and fame. While those things can easily be considered successful attributes to any one person, is that really success? I suppose that would depend on what success is to you. Could an Autistic child ever grow up to be successful by this definition of the term? Maybe….maybe not. I think maybe we have been looking at this issue from the wrong perspective.
This morning something happened that really had an impact on me, personally. Elliott was crying, not because he was hurt but more because he wasn’t getting his way. Emmett was upstairs playing, heard Elliott crying and came down to investigate. After a minute or two of observing Elliott crying, Emmett sat down right in front of him. He studied him carefully for another minute before reaching out, with his little tiny hands and wiping away Elliott’s tears. He wiped away each and every crocodile tear that was running down Elliott’s cheeks. Then something happened, the crying turned to giggling. First Emmett started to giggle and then Elliott follow suite. Emmett stood up and was all excited (this is when I stopped the video) as he turned to look in my direction. Then as soon Elliott stood up, Emmett gave him a really big hug (right after I shut the camera off)…. It was one of those moments that causes you to pause and look at the situation for what really was. My soon to be 3 year old Autistic son, who struggles emotionally himself, recognized that someone was in pain. Not only that, but he offered comfort and compassion by wiping away Elliott’s tears and giving him a hug. That is SUCCESS in my book and I don’t care what any short sighted or closed minded person has to say about that.