According to the Autism Speaks website:
- Autism affects 1 in 68 children and that number continues to grow
- There is no cure or medical detection for Autism
- It costs a family @ 60,000$ annually, on average
I mention this as The Bourboneer to not only bring the recognition to your attention (if you weren’t already aware) and to support such a cause is not only noble but extremely crucial, but for a reason much more dear to me. My youngest daughter is on the Autism spectrum. She was diagnosed almost nine years ago. A moment in my life I will never forget. I truly felt lost, cheated and without hope. “Why her Lord, why us?” I knew nothing about this epidemic except what I had seen on TV and in the movies. To say that was, at the very least, uncomforting would be an understatement. I wept for what I believed to be a regimented and limited future for my precious girl.
In stepped my wife, or wonder woman I should say. She championed my daughter’s fight and refused to sit on the sidelines and watch her sweet girl just
“get by” in life. She knew that little girl could aspire to great things and live out dreams just like the rest of us. It was impressive and not only saved my daughter’s future, but dug me out of my despair. Over the next several years we watched our little girl grow. She surprised us by conquering every challenge before her. And in the process, she educated her mom and I on the meaning of adapting, over coming and improvising. She certainly has what it takes to be one of the few, the proud…the Marines! But more importantly she taught us that every thing was going to be all right. A child did this for her parents! There were times when she even chastened us poignantly in the face of all of our doubt, “All that crying for nothing.”
I never laughed so hard!
My daughter is not only the best thing I’ve been a part of, she is the strongest person I’ve met. All 70lbs of her. If life is a challenge for her, she sure doesn’t let on to us that it’s overly bothersome. She calms me, she makes me a better father and she shows me what true courage is. But the most incredible part…she tells me everything is going to be all right. Believe what you will about Autism. I’ve heard all the medical and expert opinion. But here is what Autism is not… a deficiency. It’s a way of looking at things differently than you and I do. So who’s to say if that’s right or wrong, good or bad, more intelligent or less. Because the majority of us see things one way doesn’t always make it the right or best. It’s just different that’s all. And if we as a society could embrace such a “different” way to picture life, then it would be a hell of a lot better place to live, I can promise you that.
So that’s why I celebrate April a little differently than most. Cheers!