It’s not always what you think. Sadly, sometimes it is.

Cynical Dad and his wife received some devastating news recently. He posted about it on his site but disabled his comments to the post. If he had his comments enabled, I’d have posted the following. Chag, if you’re reading, your family’s in my prayers …

Chag, so sorry to hear about Zed.

I guess your recent visit to the pediatrician must have felt like somebody had slammed their fist into your stomach. I can’t imagine the pain you & Ella are feeling right now. I wish there was more I could say that would be of comfort.

There’s great news on the horizon in the field of autism research, activism, and legislation and it’s good that you & Ella are doing as much research as you’ve been doing. As devastating as the news is, it’s great that y’all found out while he’s young because the research is showing that interventions are easier to implement for a lifetime of success with an early diagnosis.

I am an educator and a major portion of my school day involves providing support to students within our autism population. Autism is a scary word, for educators as well as parents.

He didn’t and doesn’t display some of the characteristics of a child with autism. He makes eye contact. He’s very affectionate and loves to be held and hugged. He smiles and laughs a lot. But as I’m slowly wiping away my ignorance through research, I’m realizing autism is so much more than that.

You’re right. No two children on the autism spectrum seem to present the same behaviors. While some do present with stereotypical behaviors, many don’t. This is what makes the disorder so incredibly interesting and so very challenging to work with.

Blessings to you & your family on this journey,

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