Chasing hope

That's what you do as a parent of an autistic child. You chase hope.

That was brought home to me at a support group for parents with autistic kids. The father who said this was far more eloquent than me. He and his wife were the only ones with a child over the age of six. Everyone else was shellshocked, as if we were emerging from the tubes on the night of the first London Blitz.

He, on the other hand, had been living with a low functioning autistic child for the past ten years. To him, life is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. He and his wife no longer kept track of whether the days were good or bad. They were just days with their son. But it wasn't a resignation. It was an acceptance. It was the final stage.

But, he said, he never stops hoping. He doesn't expect a miracle, and knows his son will be autistic for the rest of his life. But he never stops hoping.

"Everyone one of us," he said, "hope for a better treatment. Hope that we can knock a hole in the wall. Hope that the next day, an answer comes back when we send a question down the well."

We're all chasing hope.

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