We’ve gone through meeting after meeting about an autism diagnosis for three of my six children. Two have received a diagnosis. The other is under the heading, “not ruled out.” He’s the youngest. We didn’t notice it in the others until they were around eleven. He’s just five.

We didn’t take my daughter to be evaluated until she was 17. I didn’t want a diagnosis, but she was happy to get it. To her it meant that nothing was wrong with her; it was just who she was.

So, we moved ahead with my thirteen year old. I felt like my daughter took on more characteristics of autism after her diagnosis, but she explains she just stopped trying to hold it in, like flapping her hands. She feels freer now, which makes me happy, even if some of it makes others less comfortable. She used to just keep quiet, but now she’s finding her voice and putting herself out there.

I tell her all the time I’m proud of her, because I am. She works so hard at life, and she’s succeeding.


This is one of her paintings. She’s a sophomore in college on a full scholarship. This is her online gallery.