SEARCH: What is it Really Like to Have a Child with Autism?

ashWhat is it Really Like to Have a Child with Autism?
by Ashley Vrublevskiy

“I really don’t know much about it,” she said. “What is it like having a child with autism?”

She was twenty-something, my age, even. I was getting a haircut by someone new, and since my children are a huge part of my life, autism always seems to come up. Usually, it’s following one of my least favorite questions or comments from well-meaning people. It’s always a little different version of the same thing: “Oh, what fun ages. Do they play well together?” or “I have a kiddo the same age. Isn’t it so much easier now that they are older?”, etc. I don’t blame them. This is a perfectly acceptable way to talk to most mothers. It just doesn’t work for me.

I found myself spewing a rehearsed version of life that sounded something like roses and butterflies. Simply put, “It’s tough, but worth it.”

Really, that’s not a lie. It truly is so worth it. I obviously absolutely adore my son, but honestly, there was a lot of gritty truth missing. It was all a bunch of fluff, because she couldn’t possibly begin to fathom what it’s really like, what a life like this truly entails. Maybe that’s unfair to assume, but unless you live this every day, you have no idea.

What I really wanted to say…read more in the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

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