|Jacob, March 2012|
I am, as is usual these days, a busier than busy bee, slammed to the wall with things that MUST BE DONE. And a long school vacation is looming later this week.
But I could not let today pass silently, without notice on my blog. It's just too important.
Last year I wrote a pretty cool post about my son, Jacob: Every day is Autism Awareness Day 'round these parts and everything I said in there still stands.
Jake is now one year older, evolved and evolving; his conversational skills and artistic talents just bursting forth, more and more amazingly every day.
And he is still, and will likely always be, on the autism spectrum. A unique boy with a unique brain; a singular perspective on the world, which, thankfully, usually delights him.
I love Jacob with every fiber of my being.
But I hate that he struggles so mightily with language, with expressing himself, and sometimes with just simply understanding what people are saying to him. I see the efforts in his eyes; sometimes I swear I can watch his brain attempting to process. And then I see the pain when it just doesn't compute, and he switches off.
I hate that his relationship with his twin brother, Ethan, is so difficult and fractious. I know that this too will evolve, but it has been a thorn in my side for so long now, it is hard to imagine anything other than the state of fraternal siege we live in.
I worry about his future in so many ways. I want him to have the biggest, fullest, happiest, most independent life possible. I want him to always be surrounded by love.
But I know how harsh and cruel the world can be for those who are noticeably different.
And as much as I am alarmed by the statistics that have recently come out, how autism is on the rise as a worldwide phenomenon and is just increasing and increasing annually with little end in sight?
I am also weirdly comforted by knowing that Jacob will not be alone. That he will be be coming of age as an adult into a world increasing filling up with others like him, and the world will HAVE to change - and will actively BE changed by the higher functioning of his brethren - to accommodate Jake and his people.
1 in 88 is a number, a statistic.
But my Jacob is not a number.
He is a person.
This is the face of autism.