I remember the years when little progress seemed to be made and wondering how she might navigate her teen years and what sort of joy she might expect in her life when we were overcome with medical procedures and the anxiety of not quite knowing what we were up against and whether she would survive.
It would be easy to look back upon those times and minimise those emotions, to say to others facing similiar circumstances, "Keep positive and don't worry about the future"- or "It will all work out," as was often said to me. I don't know that as parents that we ever quite rest in everything being all right with any of our children, and perhaps to a greater extent, our children who experience life somewhat differently to others. There are days, weeks, months and sometimes years, when we cannot see our way clear. A recent article I came across echoes some of our experiences although as life has progressed, Allycia and I have greater access to one another than many families living with autism. "It will be all right" takes the support of many people that uphold us when we falter. It takes dogged determination to not accept the lesser expectations that others constantly throw our way. Nothing comes without a changing of priorities when we realise that those given to us, have to matter more than we do sometimes, often times. Now, that we have arrived here, momentarily, I cannot articulate the exquisite moment of joy I felt when this young woman, written off by some, bursting with confidence, threw her hands to the sky and celebrated being free to be herself and that I get to be there for the ride!!