Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Lighthouse

I won't lie.  There are so many aspects about autism that stink.  They really really do.  We have had to deal with aggression, self aggression, pica (eating things you shouldn', eating everything you shouldn't), communication deficits and differences, fine motor deficits and differences, sensory differences, smearing (don't ask), etc, etc etc.  Autism can seem like a very dark journey along a hidden path with no map.  To make matters worse, there are sometimes adversaries along the road.  There are those that lay traps and attempt to sabotage the journey so that they may maintain status quo and make sure things are done as they always have been done before.  It does not matter if what they are doing suits the needs of your child.  Their way fits the mold.  Their way is acceptable.  There is no discussion.  You need to be quiet and accept status quo.  There are also those who lay traps because they have been offended.  They have been offended by Isaac and have taken his potential aggression personally.  They have been offended by Sam and me as we have asked them to consider an alternative route to help Isaac along his way.

But there are some people along the journey of autism who hold a lamp.  There are some that tirelessly man the lighthouses that show up periodically along the road.  They are not recognized as anything special.  They come from different backgrounds.  Some are teachers; some are physicians; some are bus drivers, secretaries, friends, church helpers.  They represent every socio-economic group and every ethnicity.  They may be any age.  Those that man the lighthouses are united only in their love for the others who travel this special needs road.  They have noticed the perils and have gone to great lengths to be the one to help.  These friends light the way.  They offer support and love.  They offer service to those with special needs.  They offer light on a dark road.  They offer hope.

There are no special compensations given to these light bearers.  There are no parades or awards.  They serve because they are called to do it.  They give their time and energy because one day they caught sight of the special needs road and they felt the pull to help.  These special people do more than provide us with light so we can more successfully navigate the potholes and dangers around us.  They offer their hands and help us along the way.  They do not pity us.  They respect us and our children. They know we are capable travelers.  Still, everything that can be done by one is more quickly and more capably done by two.  These light givers are here to help.

Today, Isaac got to deliver the very first Lighthouse Awards associated with I Can for Isaac.  We hope that these awards will serve as tangible evidence of appreciation and inspiration to the people who have provided light to us as we have traveled the road of special needs.  We recognize them for their ability and their willingness to serve.  We celebrate their head and their heart.  We hope to recognize others who have helped, who have responded to the journeys of those of us on this special needs path.  We will see how that progresses.  Today, we got to breathe a thank you.  Today, we were given the opportunity to encourage the encouragers.  Today, we got to shine a light for the light bearers.

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