Thursday, September 16, 2010
Michelle Webber is a Communication Arts major with a writing concentration and a Business Administration minor, and while at Gordon, she has developed a passion for writing about Autism, and Godiva cold chocolate concoctions.
The purpose of this feature series is to highlight the struggles, joys, hopes, and fears that families go through raising and living with an Autistic child. My hope is that those reading my pieces who have never heard about Autism or are only vaguely familiar with it will gain a new perspective on family life and the abnormalities that come with raising a disabled child. For those who know someone with Autism, I hope these stories serve as an encouragement and a possible means by which they can find opportunities to help their Autistic loved one. I know I am always encouraged by those who have walked similar paths and who are struggling through what I now endure. But there is hope: for recovery, for improvements. And in the small and large struggles of day-to-day living, the pain certainly is worth the joy of their constant gains and the realization that as we all grow older, we are blessed to have such uniquely gifted people in our lives.
And one of my gifts is that I will always be a part of the Autistic community. Having a brother with Autism has lead me to reflect on my own experiences and views, as well as to develop an even greater desire to hear the stories of others. We may not know it, but we are surrounded by people and families affected by Autism with their own unique and individual life stories. After writing a reflection on growing up with a brother with Autism in Journalism II, I was surprised to read that one of my peers, featured in this series, also has a brother with Autism. It is not very often that you find someone who shares this connection with you. I have rarely seen anything written about the experiences people face in their daily life having an Autistic child or sibling. By opening and sharing heart, home, and life, I hope you get a glace into what it is like to live with someone who is Autistic. These stories have encouraged me and I hope they will inspire you as well. Here are their stories.