To be a person is to have a story to tell. — Isak Dinesen
Have you ever had "one of those years"? Where you can't wait for New Year's Eve and the next year to begin, but its only April? Well 2014 was that year for me. In January 2014 I was diagnosed with cancer. In March, my father suddenly passed away. Then in June, my daughter Grace was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism. Talk about a triple whammy! But, by grace, faith, and the help of a supportive community, I was able to come through that tough year and now it is all apart of my story.
I am so honored to share excerpts from my story here with you. I strongly believe that sharing your story is therapeutic and may also benefit the life of another is ways you will never imagine.
In viewing our website and previous post, you are likely aware of how my "Autism Story" began. At age three and a half, my daughter Grace was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism. For me, the diagnosis was a confirmation and brought relief as well as many unanswered questions. However, having worked with children on the Autism spectrum for many years as a speech therapist, I knew that Grace could now begin to receive the needed supports that would empower her to be her best.
Now Grace is six years old. We have had many ups and downs, like when we both cried at the first friend's birthday party that she attended. It was terribly over stimulating, yet I refused to leave thinking that things would get better. Well they didn't! But, I did learn what not to do the next time. Now, I am happy to say that Grace enjoys attending birthday parties, for the most part anyway, and now neither of us leaves in tears.
I have also enjoyed simply amazing moments with Grace. Such as riding the Sky Ride at Sea World every time we visit. So high above the water, Grace is simply in heaven. What a joy to see her face each time we enter the ride!
Are you ready to tell your story?
If so, please briefly discuss how your child was identified with Autism or some other related social challenge? How has this impacted your life and your family? Describe an "amazing moment" that you've shared with your child so far in your journey.
Or maybe you are a grandparent, aunt, or co-worker of a child or adult with Autism. Please share your story as well. How has Autism impacted your life for the better?
I look forward to reading about each of your wonderfully unique stories.
Please post your comments below and have an amazing day!
Crystal Sanford, M.Ed., M.A. CCC-SLP, ASDCS is an Educational Consultant, IEP & Autism Advocate and Speech-Language Pathologist. She is also the host of inspiring podcasts, Thriving Special Families and Thriving Autism Families! Her passion is advocating STRONG alongside fellow Autism and other fellow parents of neurodiverse children, helping them to persistently pursue what their children deserve at school. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and two children in San Diego, CA.