I was thinking to myself last week that all of a sudden I feel like I'm having to explain to a lot of young children why Brian isn't answering them and what autism is. It seemed like I didn't have to do this before. I wondered why it was only now that I was having to figure out how to explain autism to four and five-year-olds. Then I remembered our dear friend, Annie, telling me way back in the beginning that as Brian grew it would become more and more noticeable that he was "different". I think we've got to that point.
He now looks like a big boy. He is a big boy. Kids expect him to talk back to them at the playground. He is five years old and he barely notices the other kids playing around him, he hardly ever looks at them, and he doesn't ever answer them unless it is to repeat the last word of their sentence. He is going into kindergarten in the fall and he is still, within language & social skills boundaries, at about an 18 to 24 month level. The other kids see that he looks like a big boy and they expect him to act as one.
I always feel like I've come to a point where I've accepted Brian- no, I'm not settling- I continue to work and push him but I have accepted that he may not ever talk, he may not progress- but then something will happen and it will hurt me. It's like a shock to my system and I want to cry- for an hour or maybe even a whole day. Cry for the future my son may not have. And it always surprises me when it happens. Because, for the most part, I do feel like I'm past that "grieving" stage but perhaps I won't ever be- it will be a lifetime thing that will just hit me every now & then.