The Day Our Son’s Life Came Into Focus

I love this picture. There is really nothing overly special about it if you are seeing it for the first time. My son is cute. The Peter Pan costume is adorable. He loves Peter Pan almost as much as he loves me.

Why this is my favorite picture is that one week before this picture was taken my son was diagnosed as a child with Autism. We always knew something was wrong but no teacher or doctor could quite put all the pieces together. Some said he needed more structure and discipline. Others said we were just overly involved parents and as he grew up he would grow out of these things.

My son is four years old in this picture and he did not grow out of the issues. Finally a Behavioral Psychologist was able to diagnosis him as a child with Autism and possible ADD or ADHD.

One week after the appointment we were in Walt Disney World with my family. He received the new Peter Pan costume just before the Disney Dreams Come True parade. My son sat on the curb and finally he saw his hero, Peter Pan. My son jumped up and started screaming, “Peter! Peter! It’s me! It’s me!” We started to cry. Then, Peter Pan looked directly at my son and pointed to my son and then to himself and back to my son again as if to say, “We look just alike.” My son screamed, “He knows it’s me! He knows it’s me!”

He was the joyous little boy we always knew and we realized again in that moment nothing had changed. This was a label that we, as adults, had placed on him to better help him get the things he needs to live a long and productive life.

Four years later he still loves Peter Pan and he still loves Walt Disney World. Some things have changed in his life but for the most part he is still the funny, lovable little boy he always has been. We still look to this day as the day everything came into focus for us and knowing his life was going to be just fine.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. This is beautiful and you make a very important point. Many parents fear labels. Diagnosis or label aside, every child is an individual and this should not be forgotten, but along with the label comes eligibility for some very helpful services.

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