Autism – Let Them Shine

the seventh sense

They wait to plead their case,

Unknown,

Cast aside,

I’d love,

To see their faces,

Can we spare the light?

These beautiful minds,

Trapped inside,

Bring them to life,

Let them shine,

So dark,

But I see sparks,

We gotta let them flame,

Let them speak their name,

Let them reach up to the clouds,

Where stars flicker in the distance,

So lonely out in space,

They sing out,

But we’re not listening,

‘Cause we don’t see their face,

But we can’t let them die,

Not when we can make them high,

Hold them like the little miracles,

That live inside,

Let them shine,

Let them live,

Let them read,

Let them grow,

Let them love,

Hold them close,

Let them know,

They’ll get through the darkness,

Ordinary people,

Can be hero’s,

Don’t blow out their light,

Cause they can’t eat if we don’t feed them,

They can’t read if we don’t teach them,

There is no life,

If we just hide them,

Don’t just let them die.

Let them shine,

Let them shine on,

Be an ordinary hero,

And let them shine on.

These words are not my own. They are lyrics adapted from John Legends  beautiful song “Shine”. Although this song wasn’t written about Autism, the moment I heard it, it made me think of my son and of all the other children with Autism out there who deserve to be treated with love, understanding, respect and most importantly, to be allowed to “shine”.  It also made me think of all the ordinary every day Autism parents, the everyday, ordinary hero’s, who do what they do, not out of a sense of duty, but out of  pure love for their children.

You will always be my hero’s for helping your children to shine.

Rising to meet the challenges of understanding ourselves as Autistics in a non-autistic world.

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A major challenge that is presented  to many Autists in today’s society is choosing just where it is they wish to stand within the Autism spectrum.

I can proudly claim my right to be an Aspie and not see this as a disability, or  feel the need to change at all to fit into a non-aspergic world.

I can meet with others over the Internet, find a job where I don’t have to socialize with others, and indulge my favorite obsessions without messing anyone else’s life around.

At the other extreme, I can humbly acknowledge my crushing disability, and make extreme efforts to learn compensatory strategies that will help me become as “normal” as possible to fit in with everyone else.

Neither of these extremes suit me, and I’ve taken a middle position on the spectrum, which makes sense considering that I have a spectrum disorder!

I’m not sure whether or not having  Autism is something that I should bother to analyze rationally by seeking a legally framed story of cause and effect to explain it away, or whether it’s just one of the unavoidable hammer-blows of fate?

Or even, perhaps, as some see it, a challenge from the gods, designed to shift me into a different mode of functioning?

I guess in a lot of ways, the difficulty of rising to meet the challenges of understanding ourselves, is no different for us auties and Aspies than it is for the “normal ones” .

The normals still have the luxury (or obstacle?) of being able to hold on to their comforting views of the world, of themselves, of the purpose of life: whereas we are foreigners in a strange world in which we are reminded a hundred times a day that we are visitors to this strange place.

But, could that become a strength?

We may be able to think outside the square – let’s face it, we have little choice, since the square may now be closed to us. My need for literal and straight communication meant I had to be skeptical about anything anyone said to me, go back to first principles and seek truth with logic – an unpopular quest in a social milieu where the admission ticket consists of already knowing and accepting the consensus view, however illogical or untruthful it may be.

Can we, whom the gods have chosen to bless with this challenge, make any positive sense of being on the autism spectrum, and painfully carve out a new direction? Was it a divine intervention to force us to learn a very different way of being to the way of most on this planet? Is it all karma for actions we perpetrated in a past life? Can we learn from our dire experiences some new compassion for the suffering many?


I haven’t yet completed the long process of making sense of it all, and it will probably take me some years.

But I have found that it helps to keep myself open to the possibility that I needed to learn something, probably many things, from the many unpleasant things that happened over the years – bullying, taunts at school, abusive father, social alienation, constant sacking from jobs to name a few. I hope to gain insights that will make me a better person in a spiritual sense, perhaps that the direction I had been headed in during my recent incarnations was in need of change, and that I needed to take on board some painful humility about the common suffering of humanity which will help me become a more giving, forgiving and compassionate person in the end.

A Childless Mother, Is still A Mother. Though her arms may be empty… her heart never will.

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Mothers Day has always been an incredibly difficult day for me.

Filled as it is with  mixed emotions but not for the reasons you might think.

It’s not a difficult day for me because I have a son with Autism or a daughter on the spectrum.

In many ways their presence here helps to counteract the whirlpool of emotions that this day normally stirs up in me.

Mother’s day is hard for me because I am, or at least I would have been, had everything gone to plan, the mother of seven children.

You see, four of my lovely ones never made it kicking and screaming into the light of this world.

So every Mothers Day I sit and I think about the babies that I never go to hold.

The faces I was never allowed to touch and love.

And I wonder what they would have looked like now as strapping young adults.

I wonder what their personalities would have been like and who they might now have been.

Would they have been artists or writers?

Would they have had that same broad grin that my middle son wears like a badge of honor?

Or those same amazing amber eyes as their sister?

Would they have been as tall as my living eldest son or more on the shorter side of life like me?

I guess it’s normal for mother’s like me to wonder and occasionally let ourselves dwell in the mystical land of ‘what could have been’.

I guess some would even say that I’m still grieving their loss and I yes, in a lot of ways I probably am and always will be.

I know that it has gotten easier with time.

Yet I will always remember that the awfulness,  of breathing my way through  every single Mother’s Day that left me unmarked and unacknowledged as a mother, during those years of enduring loss, were some of the most pain filled days I have ever known.

During those days I often used to wonder what to call myself.

After all what do you call a childless mother?

Common sense would say that there can be no such being as a childless mother and yet, there I was, every single Mothers Day for four years, struck numb by being exactly that  which logic dictated I should not be.

A childless mother.

Despite that I  knew, that even though I was a childless mother, I was still a mother.

Though my arms may have been empty, my heart was always full.

So to all the childless Mothers everywhere, I honor you, I recognize you and I declare with all my heart that;

You are now,

And you will always be,

Mothers,

Worth celebrating.