Spent today with a film crew going out to chronicle the efforts of REACH (Research and Education for Autism and related Challenges). I’ve done work with REACH many times before. I assisted them with various events over the years, I know their families, I’ve met their children. I believed I knew of the struggles they had to go through, raising a child/children with a developmental disorder. I experienced something different today though. I got the opportunity to hear firsthand from parents their experiences and raising an autistic child. Today, as we interviewed mothers and fathers of these special children I couldn’t help but to be moved as I listened to all their stories.
From the mother who adopted an autistic boy after his parents died from AIDS.
To the father who had to become a stay at home dad just to provide his children with the special care they needed.
To the grandmother who works nights to raise her autistic grandson all by herself after he lost his parents.
To the woman who adopted an autistic boy after she found him tied to a tree by his birth parents.
What stands out more from these stories isn’t the sadness of some of these situations, or even the hope these remarkable people display. It’s the love each and every one of them have for their children. They acknowledge the challenges and the struggles involved, but as you hear them talk you just know that they don’t regret anything. Not for a second. That in the end, what it all comes down to is loving parents trying their hardest to do the best for their children.
It was something I felt lucky to bear witness to.