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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

April 23, 2011

Journey to the Cross - On the Path of Autism

There are certain times of year when I always get introspective. Easter is one of them because it always seems to be a turning point for us. My 15yo was baptized on her first Easter and last year she was confirmed into our church on that day.

This year Jessie will celebrate Easter wearing jewelry for the first time - a Disciple's Cross, and I will be sitting next to her in church tomorrow wearing a matching one.

As usual, we will be surrounded by mothers and daughters in their Easter finery. I will be wearing mostly black, as per my usual eclectic self and I'll be lucky if Jessie wears khakis instead of jeans and a t-shirt.

So obviously this story is not about Easter dresses and fine jewelry.

It's about a journey, that keeps getting harder each year, no matter how hard Jessie tries.

Jessie has a dream she is determined to achieve and she has to jump through a great many hoops and over some really high hurdles to get there in only three more years - soccer in college on a scholarship.

A challenge for any 15yo, even one who's very athletic.

Totally daunting for a 15yo on the spectrum, who was nonverbal until age 6 and who still struggles with language arts in high school.

Last year I finally gave Jessie a word for why she struggles so hard to communicate with others - Autism.

This year Jessie started asking me why God made her autistic.

I tried giving her a logical explanation - genetics.

Today I found a better answer - it's all part of Jessie's journey.

If Jessie can achieve her goal, so can any child on the spectrum, and nothing will stand in her way as long as she's determined to follow the path God leads her on no matter how winding or how difficult.


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