The Aloneness of Autism

Design by Jeslyn Lanier

Design by Jeslyn Lanier

It's not very often that I am completely alone. This is because I have an adult child with Autism. Even if Lawton is not with me, I am always available to him by phone, call, or text message.

April is Autism Awareness month, and April 2 is Autism Awareness Day. For the past several years, I have asked close friends and family to wear blue, eat Chick-fil-a nuggets or McDonald's pancakes (his favorites), or go to GameStop. The purpose of this is to remind our family and friends to stop and think of Lawton and pray for him. I ask these folks to take a photo of themselves and post it to social media with Lawton's hashtag, #lawtism. I want Lawton to see how much he is loved and how many friends he has who care about him and are praying for him. If I am honest, it's not just for him, it's for me too. 

Loneliness is not really the issue, but there is an aloneness that comes with being the parent of a child with special needs. Sometimes I wonder if anyone else understands the deep feeling of aloneness when social media is full of photos of kids your child's age who are doing things your child is not. Or if anyone else has listened to their child watch the same YouTube video a thousand times. Has anyone else had their child delete apps from their iPad or phone only to want to add them all back in an hour?

The answer to those questions is yes! Many of us have been called to the task of being a parent to a child with special needs. My Lawton is not your child, but he is mine and your child is not my boy, but he is yours. God has entrusted us to be their parents. The promise of the Bible is that we are NEVER alone. Take heart! We are equipped by the Almighty to do what we thought we could never do. Speak truth to your heart. This child was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator, and through His power we will press on!

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
— Deuteronomy 31:6
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
— Galatians 6:9
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
— Colossians 1:11-12