The beginning of an autism journey…

This photo comes up in my Facebook memories every year and every year I’m surprised by how much it hits my emotions like a ton of bricks. Every year I cry ugly tears looking at it as I remember all the events that led up to this day. I remember exactly why I paused to take the picture of this moment.

This is more than a beautiful picture of a father and his daughter. It’s a picture of a little girl who was so lost in her own little world and so disconnected from all who loved her. A little girl unable to communicate her wants and needs. A little girl who was just shy of her 3rd birthday but in every way functioning at the level of a baby. It’s a picture of a father holding on to every hope in the world that the evaluation team inside that building will tell him that she is just fine and not to worry. It’s a picture of a father and his daughter walking into the beginning of a journey that will last a life time.

I knew what I was doing when I took this picture. I wanted it to catch just the two of them. I was ready for what was about to happen inside those doors. On the other side those doors was the end of months of me trying to convince him that our little girl needed help and lots of it. The other side of those doors was where Autism was about to become our reality.

So much has happened in the last 5 years since this picture. Time really does fly. We have all grown in so many ways since this day. The ups and downs, the steps forward and backwards, the laughter and tears have done nothing but make our family stronger. I couldn’t be prouder of our little family!

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