The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Fear of the Unknown

Newtown Angels

Today my heart is heavy. Today, I grieve with the rest of the country about a senseless tragedy that would take the lives of 20 beautiful and innocent children and six of their teachers and administrators.

Even through my tears, my heart is heavier still at the talk about Autism or Aspberger’s being the root cause of this violence.

People fear what they don’t know and what they don’t understand.

In the days, months and even years to come, our society will look for answers and work to create a profile of the person behind this tragedy in hopes of preventing another. The answers may lead us to find out that there was an Autism diagnosis, but let’s not allow that to become the center focus of this horrific event.

As mom to an Aspie child, I know first-hand the fear of the unknown. For almost eight years, we didn’t have a diagnosis other than a “developmental delay” and it was hard not knowing what we as a family were dealing with and the best ways to support my child. I was afraid. But that fear led me to search for answers to my questions and the more I read, the more I knew, the more I understood, but it doesn’t stop there.

I realized that the best way to know what challenges my child faces is to get to know my child for myself and not just through some book or video. Having an Aspberger’s diagnosis doesn’t mean that the playbook is written for my child or for anyone else. There are tools and techniques that certainly help to light the way, but just as with any child, you have to get to know your child and what their unique needs and interests are.

I also believe that a little common sense goes a long way. My child is very caring, compassionate and loving, as described by those who know him– not just me. He is being raised to value all life and help those in need.

Many children on the Autism spectrum have an obsession with something: a toy, a character, a movie, a subject matter. My son’s obsession is trains. Not guns and not violence. And while I’m not saying all guns are bad, I AM saying that we all need to be careful of what we introduce into our children’s lives, whether they have an Autism diagnosis or not.

As President Obama shared at the memorial service yesterday, “If there’s even one step we can take to save one child, or one parent, or one town from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try.” And that obligation falls beyond the votes of our legislators and into our own homes.

May God bless the families of the lost and the community of Newtown, CT.

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Written by Shara

December 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

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