My friend’s son Gabe is absolutely precious. He’s 9, a great fisherman, a spelling bee champion, and the sweetest little boy. That’s my sweet Gabe.
Oh, he has Asperger’s Syndrome which is an autism spectrum disorder. But that’s just a diagnosis. That’s not who Gabe is. Gabe is the little boy that calls me Auntie. The little boy who doesn’t like to be touched but who hugs me tight when he sees me. The little boy who doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but who giggles and laughs with me.
There are many different diagnoses within the autism spectrum disorder. And within each diagnosis the degree of severity can vary significantly. For sweet Gabe, he is a high functioning child with autism. Meaning he seems like a “normal” child. To me, he IS a “NORMAL” child. But as far as a medical diagnosis, he is high functioning.
I see the trademark symptoms of Asperger’s but those things make me love him more. He doesn’t make eye contact much when he’s speaking with someone – typical symptom. He is focused, can be obsessive-compulsive, and he does come across as serious all the time and is extremely literal when communicating. So yes I see the symptoms, but I also see the loving little boy with an infectious smile who proudly shows off the bass he has caught, the little boy who runs and plays outside building forts and playing sports. I see the little boy who is so smart and rarely has to study. The little boy who asks questions, wants to learn, and who is confident enough to challenge ideas or statements that he doesn’t agree with or wants clarification on.
I don’t see Autism. That is just a diagnosis. I see the little boy that I’ve loved since the day I met him a few days after he was born.
God bless, and be blessed.