My girl will undoubtedly face ignorance as she steps further into the world. When she does, I want her armed with an impenetrable wall of self-esteem. Of belief that just as there are serious challenges in her autism, there are also gifts – her incredible memory, her uncanny ability to repeat what she’s heard or read, her pitch-perfect imitation of accents – and so much more we will have the joy of watching emerge as she grows.
When someone spits ‘autism’ at her as a dirty word, I want her to turn it back on them, framed as her own. “Yes, I’m autistic. So? I’m damn proud of it.’” Heck, she could even throw in, ‘I’m sorry that you’re not, but that’s not my problem,” for good measure.

~ Person First, Diary, July, 2012


Yesterday, one of my dearest friends shared a story. Well, maybe calling it a story is a bit grandiose. It was really just a moment in time. A tiny sliver of a conversation between her girls.

But well, as we all know around here, sometimes the smallest moments – the ones that may look quite ordinary to an outsider – are anything but small and anything but ordinary.

Her two girls, one thirteen and on the spectrum, one nine and not, were chatting together over breakfast. This is what they said.

Little Sister: She didn’t even know who Picasso was! And we went to the museum and everything!

Big Sister: Well…what do you expect? She’s…typical. (looks at Little, puts hand on her arm) No offense.

Five lines of conversation.

An impenetrable wall of self-esteem.


21 thoughts on “everything

  1. The Awesomest! I can only hope and pray we can all give our kids that much self esteem to walk through this world with! Love it…thanks to you and you friend for sharing this moment!

  2. Love it. Interestingly, my 13-year-old son has no interest in owning his Aspie status. Instead he is determined to fly under the radar and pass as NT, which he is very good at. It makes me feel sad that he feels the need to live a double life of sorts. This age is so tough…I tell him over and over that he has nothing to be ashamed of but he wants to do it his way. I feel all I can do at this point is support him in his choice and keep letting him know he is loved no matter what.

  3. Thank you for sharing that. I have two girls similar age gap and eldest on Spectrum. That made me smile and cry at the same time because it sounds so much like my two!

  4. As the uncle of an amazing autistic child, I’ve witnessed firsthand how truly special a moment can be around him. I pray his wall of self-esteem becomes fortress grade. I follow your stories with my heart in my throat. Thank you for always giving us these bright moments

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