Welcome to my blog! My name is *Jessica* and I have an amazing, brilliant, autistic 7 year old named *Ben* and a caring and supportive husband named *Nick*. As a teacher and a mom, I believe in the power of storytelling.
When Ben was diagnosed with autism, my whole world shifted on a massive scale. One diagnosis, and suddenly I was thrust into a whole new world.
Autism, a word that in the past had made me involuntarily recoil, suddenly meant my cuddly son who I love with a fierceness that only a momma can, so I got busy learning. I have delved into dozens of books on the subject and read countless webpages, but my son has been by far my greatest teacher. He teaches me every single day, when I remember to stop, watch, and listen. I have also learned much from the autistic adults and self-advocates who have shared their stories and helped me to learn so much about autism.
Through these past few years, Ben has changed in many ways, but it is me who has grown the most. I no longer take the simplest things in life for granted. I see the beauty in the smallest of moments and no longer hold the "hard" things in life at an arm's length. Ben has forced me to find my inner advocate. I am by nature a quiet, compliant person who likes everyone to get along, but my son's larger-than-life personality has thrust us onto center stage wherever we go. I am learning to embrace the challenge and love all aspects of my son- even the hard stuff.
I named my page "Changed for Good", which is a song from one of my all-time favorite musicals "Wicked". In the song, the characters sing, "Who can say if I've been changed for the better? I do believe that I've been changed for the better. Because I knew you...I've been changed for good."
Each autistic person is unique, and I am in no way suggesting that our experience is representative of the daily lives of every autistic individual. However, I believe in the power of the stories to be told and the lessons to be learned. This is our story, as it unfolds, and I do believe that it has changed me for the better. Thanks for coming along for the ride!
*not our real names*