In a recent blog post, writer Kim Wombles describes her 21 -year-old son's developmental strides. Yes, her son is autistic - but no, that doesn't mean he can't grow and develop throughout his life! Says Kim:
My point is, in sharing this new leap in a series of leaps, that when we are primed to believe that disability is inevitable and constant, that the best we can "hope for" is the last thing we'd wish for our children, it can be tremendously easy to fall into a habit of expecting no more than we've been told they can ever aspire towards and working towards even less. We have much work to do, not just with the public, but with ourselves, as well: to believe that progress and new skills are acquirable if we keep pushing for it, working on it. No, not all of our children with autism and other issues will leave disability behind, but they can all make progress, grow and develop. We must remember that when we build on a series of small successes, the feeling of competence will make additional progress all the more possible, because they will believe it to be possible.
This particular post really speaks to me, because it helps me to remember that autism may be a diagnosis, but it is not a prognosis. No matter how far any of us come in our lives, we can always take one more step.
NOTE: Kim has just updated her blog to describe even more forward steps. Bobby is now able to navigate the grocery store on his own - and cook delicious meals!