Amy shakes these people off. She learned to ignore them years before I did. She's the one I commend, she's the one I pat on the back, she's the better person.
Autism is a challenge. It can be bloody hard work. It can be restrictive. It can be heartbreaking. But only if you let it be. I don't look at my daughter and think "you're different." I look at her and think "you're Amy."
I have no other children to compare her to yet I know she is blessed with a wonderful life, an exciting future and a loving family. She might not become an astronaut or a physicist, she might not be the next Einstein. But she's Amy. And today, she's thirteen. A teenager. I may eat these words one day but the joy she brings me on a daily basis is all the back patting I need. After all, I brought her up.
Happy Birthday to my gorgeous teenager.
3rd January 2000