A father describes his life with his daughter who is autistic

Source: Koinonia for Exceptional Orthodox Christian Families: A Father describes what autism is like 

Bill Boundroukas has a daughter who is autistic. He shares his experience as a father of an autistic daughter in regards to the autistic way of viewing the world, as he sees it. 

He learns “important lessons” from his daughter; autistic children can teach us “myriads of things.” An excerpt from his post, which he wants to be shared: 

I promise you if you’re patient, and kind that they will take you by the hand and teach you some important lessons. God’s sent these paradigmatic messengers to teach us a myriad of things. They reveal that nothing is ordinary in this world. Everything is an extraordinary blend of His will and His love. You will learn to praise God in all things. You will worship the hidden miracles and wonders found in simplicity. They will teach you that every moment is a precious miracle. You will understand that a simple high five is equal to complex Aristotelian logic. You will cherish everything and see God’s image in everyone. They will reflect His beauty in so many ways. Their struggles will be your treatises to patience, kindness, endurance, strength, sacrifice, dependency, humility, hope, forgiveness, commitment, faith, and love. You will have so many new heroes to emulate. I promise you these heroes will never let you down. In fact, they will show you how love truly moves this world. They will be your guides in paradise. 

Another daughter, another father; “love moves this world”

The full post:

This is one of my longest posts ever, but I would appreciate that you read, and share it. Next month is Autism awareness month. Why should we care about Autism awareness. I care because my beautiful daughter Katerina has Autism. You should care because it’s an opportunity for you to see, hear, and feel the world in a new way. How do you start to do this. You start by asking what is Autism. Autism is not a disease. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. I am going to attempt to give you a glimpse of what Autism looks like to me. Try and imagine being stuck in the worst traffic with the gas light blinking empty and you don’t have your cell phone or your wallet, or imagine shopping in a crowded mall and everyone is looking at you and laughing. You don’t understand why, and then you realize that you have left your house naked. Your anxiety would be unbelievable. How fast would you run home or to your car. Imagine waking up from a scary dream where your screaming and no one can hear you. How would it feel when you realized its not a dream. You try to communicate and no one can understand you. Even a simple request like give me more requires hours and days of observation and training in order for it to be fulfilled. Imagine wanting to play with someone and no one even looks at you. What would you do to the first person who wanted to play with you. Imagine how these feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and frustration would mold your view of the world. These feelings are what many people with Autism go through daily. Many people with Autism have sensory issues. When I first heard the words sensory issues, I really didn’t grasp what these words mean. I’m going to try and show you a few examples of sensory issues. Have you ever experienced that creepy crawling feeling running up and down your legs and arms, and you can’t shake it off. Imagine your hands or your feet falling asleep and your unable to stop the numbing feeling in your hands and feet for hours or maybe days. Your mother dresses you in a beautiful church dress and it feels like scratch paper rubbing on your skin. You try everything to take it off but to no avail. Remember what I just wrote, and when you see a person with autism pushing, running, bouncing, tugging, scratching, screeching, and crying, I want you to feel everything I just described. When you see people with Autism waving or shaking their hands give them room. Don’t explode, laugh, shake your head, or make stupid comments. You and I will never truly understand their epic struggle. Instead, be patient and kind. Ask them or their care giver how you can help. When they don’t respond to your questions, don’t get frustrated and annoyed. They’re also frustrated and annoyed that you can’t understand them. They may have auditory processing disorders which makes ordinary noises so unbearably loud that they might not be able to hear you. Wait for them to regulate themselves. I promise you if you’re patient, and kind that they will take you by the hand and teach you some important lessons. God’s sent these paradigmatic messengers to teach us a myriad of things. They reveal that nothing is ordinary in this world. Everything is an extraordinary blend of His will and His love. You will learn to praise God in all things. You will worship the hidden miracles and wonders found in simplicity. They will teach you that every moment is a precious miracle. You will understand that a simple high five is equal to complex Aristotelian logic. You will cherish everything and see God’s image in everyone. They will reflect His beauty in so many ways. Their struggles will be your treatises to patience, kindness, endurance, strength, sacrifice, dependency, humility, hope, forgiveness, commitment, faith, and love. You will have so many new heroes to emulate. I promise you these heroes will never let you down. In fact, they will show you how love truly moves this world. They will be your guides in paradise. Let them recognize you here on earth. You want to hear them say to St. Peter he or she is with me. Autism is a very heavy cross to carry, and the special people who carry it develop great strength to endure. If you are looking to find Christ, I promise you that you will see Him glimmering in their eyes, smiling in their smile, and giggling in their giggle. You will feel Him in their perfect hugs and kisses. Your frail, broken mind might want to ask the why God question. I’ve decided that I don’t know whether Autism is caused by the Devil, fallout stemming from the fall of man, or beta rays from the planet krypton reflecting off my sinful ass. It doesn’t matter. There is no purpose to ask the why God question. All that matters is that you listen to your heart. If you do, you will know what you can or cannot do to raise awareness. I spent the last four hours writing this post you can share it with you friends. If it helps one person, it was the best four hours of my time. My final thought is that I have mistakenly believed that I can shape and mold my daughter to this world in reality she shapes and molds me. I want to thank you ahead of time for reading to the end of this post and sharing it.

picture from Cailyn’sDad.wordpress.com (Cailyn is also autistic.)

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