Three years ago, in the spring of 2013, I went to a homeschool conference. It was about 5 months after my son’s initial diagnosis with high-functioning autism and I still felt a bit lost and overwhelmed. I wondered if I would be able to teach him and help him, and I went to several sessions aimed at teaching children with various struggles (ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, etc.) which were similar to his struggles caused by high-functioning autism.
At one session in particular, I arrived a bit early and was chatting with the presenter before the session started. He asked me a question that has since haunted me, “If you could fix him, what top 3 things would you want to be able to change?”
I couldn’t get it out of my mind…if I could fix him?
Did my son need to be fixed?
The same thought kept going through my mind: Did he need to be fixed?
No. My son isn’t broken. Yes, there are challenges. There are challenges that as his mom, I wish he didn’t have to face. There are people who misunderstand him and accuse him of all kinds of things. Some of these things are not a big deal, but others are very serious, and all of them break my heart as his mama. Watching your child’s innocent action be twisted around and called something malicious is heartbreaking.
It’s also enlightening. I remember one such time when I cried out to God in my pain. “Lord, how can I just move on from this? If they were hurting me, I could do it, but they are hurting my little boy. They are falsely accusing him…”
BAM…like lightning the Lord spoke to my heart. “My son endured far worse and I allowed and orchestrated it to happen for you.” I was brought to my knees that day for sure.
God is so good.
My son has often had his motivations questioned by people who didn’t understand him. He has been accused of defiance when in truth he doesn’t understand what’s being asked of him.
I have watched him struggle with reading and certain other subjects that are heavy in processing and language. Every single step has been painstaking for him, and there are times when I wish I could take away the struggle for him. I have looked at simulators that show how he views words and reading, and I broke down crying. I would have given up a long time ago.
But my boy is stronger than that.
My Son is exactly the way God made Him
The truth is, I would never want to “fix” him because he isn’t broken.
My son is such a special kid. Not a “special needs” kid, but a special kid.
Even though this thing called autism has given him many trials, it has also given him some beautiful strengths that he wouldn’t have if he were a “normal” kid. I wouldn’t trade those things. He has the exact combination of strengths and weaknesses that the Lord created him to have.
So no, I don’t want to “fix” my son. Sometimes I wish I could “fix” the world just a little bit, but he doesn’t need to be fixed.
The Lord created Him just as he is. We will continue to work through the challenges and appreciate his strengths. And we’ll continue to pray that the Lord will work in His life. But I won’t try to fix him. Because with his challenges come strengths that make him who he is.