Dear van driver ,
I am trying to give you grace , because you are new. I know you look at my daughter, and don’t see how vulnerable she is.
Autism is an invisible disability. You can’t see it by looking at her. You can’t tell how impacted she is by it.
You see a young lady who is pleasant , and while quiet, her smile is as bright as the sun.
There is another side to that smile. There is anxiety, rigidly and lack of the ability to communicate.
You see my daughter looks quite capable and she is of many things , but there are things that don’t quite resonate.
She is non verbal. She can not speak or make a phone call. She would not know how to react in an emergency. She does not know what to do If she were hurt or in pain.
I guess no one communicated to you about any of these things. You dropped my daughter off and left her alone. My daughter is never alone the fear and confusion of that alone could cause a meltdown.
You showed up early and no one was home and you left her here anyways.
You could of put her in jeopardy. You left her unsupervised and unprotected.
There is much controversy and differing opinions about labels and functioning levels in the autism community. Many think they are unnecessary and negative, some even believe they are degrading.
I have to disagree I thing they are quite useful and actually a needed tool to keep our children safe.
My sweet girl ;
mommy loves you so much and will do anything to keep you safe,
I am so sorry that you were left all by yourself
Thankfully Daddy showed up minutes later and you were sitting on your bed taking off your shoes. He had quite the surprise when walked in and saw you. I’m not sure if you even realized no one was home.
It wasn’t understood how protected you need to be
I myself do not like to say you are low functioning or even intellectually disabled. In my eyes you are so smart. I am not measuring those unimportant things on a paper.
I measure things that mean so much more like your heart and , your spirit. There is no number that can represent that. How intuitive you are , and how the way you observe and take things in. The way your laughter can ring through the darkest of days and bring a smile to my lips. I can’t help but to feel the joy that radiates though you.
A have to make a phone call tomorrow. I have to emphasize how this is unacceptable and you can never be left alone.
I have to use all the words that no one likes to convey exactly what you understand and what your “level” is and I will make it crystal clear , I will shout it from the rooftops if needed to keep you safe.
I don’t use these words because I think any less of you because baby I think the world of you . In fact I put you on a pedestal
Your are not less worthy because of these things you just need more help and that is okay .
I work with you everyday to help you to communicate and learn and in hopes that someday these things will improve.
You have defied the odds before and I have no doubt you will continue to do so.