Why? Because Kevin is autistic and non-verbal, so the fact that he communicated “cake” to us is terrific; it means that what little speech he has is improving. The fact that we feel he’s ready to have a birthday party, even if only with a few friends, is a step we never expected to be able to take; Kevin’s doing something normal boys his age take for granted, and, so did we, until a few years ago. I can’t wait to see the kids frosting their cupcakes! It will be occupational therapy in secret, but tasty fun for all.
We’ve been considering gifts for Kevin; too, like clothes, Star Wars figures, and other toys, but none compare to the gift God gave us 8 years ago this April. Kevin has opened our eyes to our need to become better parents and how to appreciate the small, everyday blessings of life we used to overlook like putting shoes on the correct feet, or being able to play a video game well enough to get through a level, or even the simple joy of snow falling.
Yes, Kevin’s 8th birthday means a lot of milestones for him, and us. In the past few years, we’ve watched as Kevin struggles with speech, coordination, and social acceptance and have received much in return. As we celebrate Autism Awareness Month, let us focus on what we have gained from our autistic loved ones who have enriched our lives far more than we could ever impact theirs. I’m lucky enough to have 2 sons with autism, who help me become a better person every day. Thanks Kevin and David!
What birthday milestones have you experienced with your loved one with autism?