There are times when I think to myself, what if…? What if I knew then what I know now? What if…? I do not think these thoughts begrudgingly. I do not think them with a heavy heart. But I will not lie, I do think them.
I have learned so much about autism, special education, how to advocate for my children, resources that are available, and interventions that can reduce the prevalence of autism and even safeguard against it. With all of this…what if?
The question posed seems simple enough, but gives way easily to other questions. How much further along would my girls be if I did? How would our lives be different? Would we be able to achieve even more if only I had known what I know now?
I wish there were a way I could go to the former me and share the knowledge I have acquired these 10+ years along in my journey. But I have no time-machine..no way to speak to my former self to share the insight gained through the years. So instead I share my experiences openly with others whenever the opportunity presents. It is my hope by doing so I am in some way (big or small) able to encourage and inspire others as they too travel this road so that they might be able to propel their loved ones over, through, and around the obstacles I have overcome along the way.
Thankfully my faith does not allow me to dwell long in the place of “what ifs.” Instead I am swiftly carried to the more productive quest of, “What’s next?” This causes my gaze to be re-casted ahead instead of behind me readying me for the work that is yet to be done and the knowledge that is yet to obtained. So forward we march together removing barriers and reaching beyond autism!