Celebrate Autism

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By Vicky Westra

For many parents, the day they get the diagnosis of Autism is filled with uncertainty, worry and fear. The stigma of Autism today has caused this type of emotional response. There has been so much negativity tied to the diagnosis, that we can see it as a curse instead of the blessing it is. Also, if you do a search for Autism on the Internet, you will read more about its challenges then its gifts or strengths.

Now as a contrast to Autism, the term Indigo Children, according to Wikipedia refers to children who are believed to possess special, unusual, and sometimes supernatural traits or abilities. The interpretations of these beliefs range from their being the next stage in human evolution, in some cases possessing paranormal abilities such as telepathy, to the belief that they are more empathetic, spiritual and creative than their peers. It’s so interesting how the definition of these two different labels can cause two different reactions.

I think about how I would have responded if instead of our doctor giving us the diagnosis of Autism when our daughter Gabbi was four, he would have told us that our daughter was an Indigo child and that she would have special traits, abilities and would be more empathetic and creative that what was considered “typical”. He may have also told us that with Indigo children, you have to parent a little differently as they came in different than a typical child.

This is the scenario that I wish for parents today who are first receiving the diagnosis. That they view Autism in this positive light from the start and save themselves the many years of struggle that it took me to realize that Gabbi has the traits of an Indigo Child.

However, no matter where you are at on your journey, you can make the choice now to celebrate the characteristics you love about autism! It’s rare that I talk to a parent and they don’t share some really unique and wonderful things about their child. That’s a great foundation to start celebrating your child and their Autism!

You may be thinking “well, aren’t I just sticking my head in the sand by not looking at all the challenges that I see before me?” To that I would respond, “life is what you choose. When I chose to look at Autism and all its challenges, I spend a lot of time experiencing emotions such as worry, frustration, anger and fear. Now that I’ve chosen to celebrate my daughter, her autism diagnosis and being in the broader autism community, I am experiencing more hope, enthusiasm and joy then ever before.”

Won’t you join Autism Shifts in celebrating Autism and all the wonderful gifts that it brings into this world! Join our tribe by going to www.autismshifts.org and signing up to be a part of our community!

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