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From Inside the Puzzle: Raising a Child with Autism Blog

Maturity and Optimism

Published May 11, 2015 10:07 AM by Devon Alley
This past week was a rough one. I was working long hours each day, and A. was having a crisis at her school. One of her good friends, E., stopped having anything to do with her. I'm still not sure what happened. As much as I can gather, other students have started a rumor that A. is, in fact, NOT autistic, and it seems like E. might believe these rumors, and is upset and stressed about the idea that A. may have lied to her. Whatever the reason, A. has lost a friend, and she feels pretty devastated about it.

When she called me sobbing on Friday, I decided to allow her to leave school early. My amazing mother-in-law picked her up, brought her home, and hung out with her for a while. She told A. to try to focus on happy things in-between the feelings of sadness.

I was able to leave work a little early, so A. and I went shopping, and then we went out for ice cream. As she talked to me about the situation at school, I was really impressed by her maturity. She said she was very sad about losing the friendship, but that she had to accept it. She didn't seem to be angry at all - just hurt and confused. 

As we sat and ate our ice cream, A. opened up a little. She told me that she was really lucky to have me as a mother. I thought she was going to say this was because I'd let her leave school early and was getting her ice cream before dinner, but she didn't even mention it. She told me I'd taught her how to be mature and optimistic. It was humbling to be on the receiving end of such gratitude, and I responded in kind - that I was grateful that she was my daughter because she was so compassionate, thoughtful, creative, and fun to be around. We finished our ice cream and went home, both feeling much better.

It was a very sweet and touching end to a rather emotionally exhausting week.

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