I AM AUTISTIC-

But I Live A Life Of Value.

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

I am a different child. My dad moved out when I was 4 and he never cared what became of me. My mom took over the reins of providing for me alone. She is my confidante and counsellor.

From a tender age, I enjoyed singing in church and seldom on my own. One day I overheard our maid and a cousin discuss how awful my song sounded. My cousin mocked me and said, “he makes a joyful noise unto the Lord”. That shattered me, and that is the time I quit humming. With that, I avoided talking and now I am silent!

Having to look after a challenged person is a chore. If you are in that position, this is for you.

You might think this is unusual. However, grasp this from my mom, and read it from me. I am older and wiser, though still speechless. To get across, I scribble, and my mom interprets my writings. She forces me to talk to her sometimes. She knows how to bring out the best in me.

An honourable thing is to encourage your offspring to be the finest that the Almighty designed them to be. Is your kid an artist? Celebrate that. Maybe you wished him to be a Doctor, but Divinity had other plans for him. You are not celestial, so welcome what he emerges as. Your aspiration is yours, keep it. Let your kid enjoy his unquestionable self.

Some parents live their ambitions through their young ones. This is incredible! Imagine if my mom had forced me to take up construction because it was her design. It could have been a disaster. She witnessed her dad mould bricks, and she wished to advance his legacy by going into development. Her mummy shot down the idea. The family never recovered from the furore.

I often sit down with my mom to share my dreams. Given her patience, she listens to me without distraction. My aspirations change every day, but she is happy to stir me back to reality. She does not pester me with her illusions about my life, but helps me respect and understand myself.

Once I told my mother that I wanted to be a pilot. Had she been another mother she could have shot down my idea, as did her mother. But she was excited for me and bought me many books on aviation. I am an avid reader and soon discovered being a pilot was beyond my capacity.

I am a born artist. Therefore, our home walls have samples of my trade when I was a toddler. My drawings disseminate better than my record and speech.

It is like my mother to notice that potential, and she capitalised on it to groom my talent. She collected my artworks for preservation and even gave me grades for the best of my artworks.

Several books augmenting my passion still adorn my bookshelves, and with that, I grew my trade and capability. I still don’t make money from my art pieces, but I draw daily. I work full time as a shop assistant and draw on a part-time basis.

To the young people out there, especially those living with disabilities, reach out to your parents. If you cannot converse with them as expected, find alternative ways of communicating with them. Try it, it is indeed easier than you think.

Unless your parents understand and appreciate your passion and dreams, they can’t help you out. For they are caring, elders can encourage you to be true to yourself if they understand you.

In the meantime, develop that special gift, nurture it with the help of your folks and enjoy your life.

I wish you all a happy life.

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Sosomweendo

Chairperson of the #NEVERAGAIN movement. GIRL CHILD activist, mother, wife, and a student of the School of LIFE. Passionate about change and personal growth.