by Patrice E. Athanasidy
When I first heard that Peter, now 7, was on the autistic spectrum, I probably reacted like most parents would — I worried about his future, I panicked about what it meant for his everyday life and I felt a loss for my son that I could not completely describe. When I talked with my parents, my Dad reminded me that Peter was the same little boy I had left that morning. That put it in perspective. Peter was the same blond, curly haired boy that can dazzle you with his dimpled smile. He was the same (at that time three year old) that was learning and changing a great deal thanks to the therapies he was receiving. Autism was not a sentence, it was a diagnosis.
Patrice E. Athanasidy has been a freelance writer for more than twenty years. She now writes grants for several not-for-profits and continues to freelance for Catholic New York newspaper and other local and regional publications. Last year her column about autism appeared regularly in the Scripps' paper, Oconee Today. Her website is here. (Click here to make a donation to Patrice, half of which will support 6S.)