Autism For Parents

9 May 06

Time Well Spent

Filed under: Autism,Understanding — Brett @ 2314

Originally posted in August 2005 by Wade Rankin at Injecting Sense. Used with permission.

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Tonight I took my 15-year old son, one of my non-autistic kids, to the local fishing pier on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. There was a nice breeze out on the water, making it the type of comfortable evening we rarely see in South Louisiana during the summer months. A night like this brings people out, and the pier drew strollers as well as fisherfolk. One gentleman and his son caught my eye. The boy was about 10-years old, and was obviously autistic. He displayed the typical stimming behavior I’ve come to recognize, and his speech was relatively undeveloped for a young man of his age. But his father did not seem self-conscious in the least; he was just enjoying some well-spent time with his son on a beautiful evening.

Before the birth of my youngest child (the one on the spectrum) I would have focused on an autistic child and felt sorrow for the parents without bothering to notice that the parents neither needed nor wanted pity. Now I know better.

Having an autistic child is a gift. Every day I get to celebrate progress that I took for granted with my older kids. The attention my son requires keeps him in the forefront of my consciousness every waking moment. He has made me a better parent to all of my children.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Comment by ellensilva — 9 May 06 @ 2321 | Reply

  2. Beautiful!

    Comment by Rose — 10 May 06 @ 1222 | Reply

  3. Just as a matter of disclosure, I fall into the “cure” camp, although my definition of “cure” tends to vary from time-to-time. That being said, I do not mourn my son’s autism or consider it “a living hell.” My son remains a complete joy, and we work constantly to make sure he derives joy from his life (just as any parent should work for any child).

    This post was one of my very early efforts as a blogger, but it remains one of my favorites.

    As an update, the fishing pier I mentioned in my post was a victim of Katrina just a couple of weeks after I wrote about the incident. Its remains are visible from the Causeway, a long bridge crossing the Lake. Whenever I’m on the north end of the bridge, I find myself looking over at what’s left, and I always smile at the memory of my last visit to the pier and the sight of a fellow parent with his autistic son.

    Comment by Wade Rankin — 10 May 06 @ 1353 | Reply

  4. I was wondering if you would be willing to help me out. I am a student at NWTC and I am taking a class on Children with differing abilities and one of our assingments is to interview a parent with a child with special needs. I was wondering if you could just answer a few basic questions for me, if not I understand. Thanks


    Past history and when they learned about the disability:
    Present time and what it’s like now, getting the services and support needed:
    Future prognosis, hopes and dreams for their child:

    Comment by Emilie Hoeft — 2 May 08 @ 0248 | Reply

  5. I am a student in college, and we had an assignment to find a blog and ask parents a few questions. I have been learning about Autism. I plan to graduate next December with my degree in teaching. I love children and want to be the best teacher I can be. If I were to have your son or daughter in my class, what would you want me to know about him/her and autism.

    Comment by Lyndsey Williams — 22 Nov 11 @ 1012 | Reply

  6. I agree children with special needs of any kind are our blessing from God. My daughter is autistic and one of the most amazing people I know. When we moved to the country that didn’t have any autism programs I was worried things wouldn’t go well but they have. We helped establish programming to suit her needs at her school and she is making great progress. The people here have excepted her and treat her amazing. She is loved and included in almost every activity going on at school & around town.I think she helps others open their eyes to see such a pure heart. Jj

    Comment by Jennifer Lightner — 2 Feb 17 @ 1243 | Reply

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