Anthony Goulet learned to see the world through his son’s eyes and what he saw was something he wished he could share with the world.
My youngest son graduated from the 5th grade today. When he was in kindergarten the school psychologist diagnosed him with Asperger syndrome,which is part of the Autism spectrum. I fought that diagnosis because it scared me. I didn’t know anything about autism or what that diagnosis meant for my son and our family. As with many things in life, my wife and I took a deep breath, prayed, placed it in God’s hands, and decided to simply let our youngest son teach us. His brother and sister are his heroes, and all three of them are my heroes and teachers.
Watching him walk on stage today with a big smile and receive his diploma from the principal, you would never have guessed all the things he went through to arrive at this moment. This was the most challenging school year we had faced. Throughout this past year he was beat up and bullied, and even mugged three times in school. Why, because he sees the world different, or perhaps because his relentless kindness is seen as a weakness? Who can really say what the motives are, but those matters were handled with the kids who did that as well as their parents. Of course it angered me, frustrated me, and hurt me. What parent doesn’t hurt with their child? After all those negative and traumatic incidents, what remains? That is why I am writing this so that I can explain to you exactly what remains. My son’s heart remains!
My son’s heart remains through it all! Nothing breaks him or gets him down – ever. When we asked him about the bullies he told me, “They just haven’t woke up yet.” When we asked him about the people stealing his money he said, “They were probably hungry. They must need it.” When we asked him about the kid that beat him up he said, “No one has ever taught him to be a friend, he doesn’t know anything else yet.”
They place Autism into the box of a disability. Please tell me where the disability is because I don’t see it. If that mentality is a disability then perhaps it is the complete disabling of the ego; the complete disabling of hate, resentment, fear, prejudice, and negativity. If my son and everyone else who is diagnosed with Autism are disabled, then I long for the day when we all have the same disability to see the good no matter what. Who I see and know is a wonderful person who gets up every day laughing, ready to create something beautiful, and bypasses the negative to make sure he stays in love with the day, and shares it with all those around him. Even if he doesn’t feel well and you ask him how he’s doing, he will tell you, “I’m doing great.” If you’re having a rough day, he will come over to you, put his hand on your shoulder and ask, “Whose hands is everything in?” Then he will ever so gently talk with you until you remember it’s all in God’s hands.
So what have I learned about Autism? I’ve learned that when this world wakes up and recognizes what true strength is we will know where true peace begins. I’ve learned that in this maze of life where so many people leave their hearts to search for other things, my son keeps his heart and shows others the way. In the great love my son carries, and teaches others to carry, there is no one and nothing that can take advantage of it. There are only missed opportunities to remember what we are all created to be…Loving, Kind, Compassionate, Creative, and Fully Realized Human Beings. I’ve learned that if there must be a label then make Autism an accurate acronym. My son is Always Unveiling True Inspiration, Strength, and Miracles.
Photo: Nicole Yeary/Flickr
Originally appeared at Anthony Goulet Blog