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"Autism is the Rain; Our Child is the Rainbow”

Courtesy Andrea Massengale

Autism is like the rain. It brings out the child in all of us. It doesn’t matter how old we are it’s always fun to jump in a puddle. It puts a smile on my face. It makes me appreciate the sunny days.

Autism is like the rain. Sometimes it’s tough just to walk in it. Sometimes it drizzles; other times it’s a sudden heavy downpour. I don’t know how long the rain will last, but without it we might not be here. 

John David always puts a smile on my face. We were at a birthday party recently. There were kids running everywhere. I looked over at John David. He was sitting alone, lost in his own world. His arms were in the air to feel the wind. There was a soft smile on his face. 

Our afternoons are filled with constant therapy as it takes John David hundreds of hours to learn skills that most children pick up quickly and naturally. He cannot talk and sometimes he gets really upset trying to communicate. We’ve had to leave many restaurants and stores at a moment’s notice because he struggles with sensory issues and is obsessed with sliding doors.

There are many challenges and many joys to raising a special needs child. I like to think about what Albert Einstein said: “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Autism is like the rain. I am blessed because I see a rainbow everyday.

By Andrea Massengale, mom of John David, 8