Yesterday I was on Facebook and stumbled upon a video clip of a boy who has Autism and how he had inspired his basketball team. I remember when they shared this video clip on the news a few years ago and what I was facing in my own household at the time. My son, has Aspergers! It is high functioning Autism.
He is a lot like "Max" on the T.V hit show "Parenthood." In my drinking days the thought of being inconvenienced by anyone or anything was very bothersome. In my drinking days if I had to face the truth on something I'd rather deny it and continue as if nothing happened. In my drinking days I was selfish, self-centered and very unpleasant to be around. Heck! I couldn't even stand myself. I just wasn't ready to admit that. When I finally came too, and was able to allow myself to look in the mirror and realize I had a problem I was ready to face anything.
I was 14 years sober when my son was diagnosed with Aspergers and S.I.D.(Sensory Integrated Disorder) I was relieved, overjoyed and most importantly at peace! Now, you may say to yourself, "What the heck are you talking about?" I say these words because my sobriety today has given me the ability to find the good in anything! My sobriety today allows me to accept life on life's terms. My sobriety today helps me to not deny the truth in any person place or thing. My son's Autism keeps me sober today! It keeps me knowing the truth about him and myself.
It keeps me real! I say this because I knew my son had something going on with him I just couldn't figure it out until one night when my son was playing a video game with another boy and they both flapped their arms in way a bird would flap his wings. It was a spiritual awakening for me...my sobriety allowed me to view it in that way. I went to the boys mom and asked with courage...which is something else I gained by being sober. I said to the mom, "My son flaps his arms just as your son does, do you know why?" She sweetly said to me, "Do not be worried it is called Aspergers and most likely your son has it too!" And so, the journey began to learn more, to teach more and to share more of what my son and the whole family goes through on a daily basis.
I told my son he had Aspergers, there was never secrets, shame or anger in knowing about it. My sobriety gave me so many gifts before learning of the true diagnosis that I was able to accept, love and embrace all that my son is and can be today. My son's Autism is a gift of the reminders of how to live, accept, love and cherish each moment. How not to react when things get overwhelming....believe me they do! Lastly, how I can use the tools of calmness that my son was taught when he becomes overwhelmed. Autism has taught me so much about my son and about me. I love my son very much...even his Aspergers!
Written by: Cathy Shuba; author of Sobriety Fitness http://www.sobrietyfitness.com