Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What An Autistic Child Taught Me One Morning

With delusions of grandeur since I was a teenager, I never knew that the 'smallness of humanity,' as Emily, from Chatting At The Sky calls it, could possibly become a meaningful part of my life.

I wasn't aware of this as I was called to help (as a sub for a paraprofessional) with a special needs child in my kids' elementary school. I was too concerned with the discomfort of my situation. I never trained for this, all three of my children were (Lord willing) "fully functional." This wasn't my specialty, or my degree, in fact, I wasn't even sure if I was remotely gifted in this area.

Other than a need to pay the bills, I wasn't sure what lesson was in store for me. Surely, God would find me another job, one that was "easier" less "heart-breaking," more "up my alley." There had to be something else for this "jack-of-all-trades."

As I cried inwardly of the difficulties I'd endured that day, I was sure God was saying "you see, you had it so easy, now you know how good you had it." So, like a petulant child, I prayed a thankful (yet selfish) prayer, "Yes, I know now. Now please find something else for me to do."

Two days later, in the midst of clanging breakfast dishes, papers to sign and lunches to pack, I would get another call, this time to assist with a 4-year-old autistic boy.

You see in this bevy of political upset in our state with words like "cut backs" and "layoffs" looming over the people (and I speak specifically about our teachers and paraprofessionals,) it's easy for us to forget about how this may affect the families, the marriages, the children. These children, the ones who need more of our time, more of our love. Somewhere there is little boy or girl who needs a community of caring people willing to take on his or her world with eager hands.

And so, if I were to dwell on my own needs, I might miss the lesson in all of this, that there is always someone needier than my family. That there is someone with bigger issues, harder choices, seemingly insurmountable pressure. So to quote my husband, when so much is being taken away at this time (wages, benefits, jobs) "may I always seek to do what is right, sacrificing self, for the greater good."

To be continued, I'm sure...


  1. Beautifully written, Suzanne. <3

  2. What a beautiful post my friend!

  3. Hello...I'm visiting from SITS...and I'm so glad I did! What an insightful post...one we can all learning something from! I am now a follower! :)

  4. great blog! i just followed you!

  5. You said it, sister! I may not be wealthy but am thankful every day for what i have. I have an autistic nephew so my family gets involved in walk now for autism every year. We've been doing that since 2005 and will continue to do so. I think it's important to give to those less fortunate and to help those in need.

  6. Love this post. Very beautifully written and your husband's quote is inspiring. We often forget to think about how all of the bad things hurting us, in fact hurt our children as well.

  7. What an inspiring post. We have to remember how truly blessed we are everyday.

  8. Linked here from Titus2InAction (I'm one of the writers there).

    This was very nice. I'm looking forward to the rese of the story.

    Family Fountain

  9. love, love, love that quote! thanks for reminding us all : )

    happy wednesday friend!

  10. Well said - and what a good reminder.

  11. As the parent of an autistic child, thank you.

    Florence @ 5MFSN

  12. Full bodied goosebumps. Amen. I love it when God gets loud with us and lets us know he's definitely talking and he sure is in charge.

    So glad you shared that :)

    1. Glad you had a chance to read it! Even though this was two years ago, the issues are the same and our feelings toward them still hold true.


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