For me I have learned through my experiences in raising Matthew that we really don't always know all the right things to do but we have his interests at heart and are trying our best to help him. I have cried many times to myself knowing my son has difficulties and I have always maintained a promise to him that we will always be there for him to support and guide him and get him the help he needs because this is our responsibility as his parents and we wish to see him making continual progress. He will most likely have to adapt and make tough choices but with our love and commitment hopefully he will find an inner peace and strength to help him throughout his life. I know also when he grows and develops friendships this will help him and give him the opportunity to experience more and mature and develop a sense of himself. The more we relate with others the more we learn about ourselves.
I have learned that when we are connected to something through personal experience we can relate it to others and draw strength from it. I have been urged by my wife many times to go to support group meetings with her to work through my personal feelings and struggles dealing with the difficulties our son is faced with and I have had a voice to share our experience in raising an autistic child and I have expressed my feelings and had felt good in sharing how I try to deal with helping our son. I also have benefited from listening to others who have shared their experiences and felt welcome and realized that there are others going through similar experiences.
I am relatively shy but find if I have passion about something I can get up in front of a large assembly and talk from my heart. I lose my shyness because I am looking at the situation from a different perspective. Imagine you are given this tremendous responsibility to help your child find confidence and a sense of themselves so they can achieve success and you know they have limitations and you also know how much you love them and how much you will be committed to helping them. It now becomes a mission for you to help your child and do everything available to help them. You are their support system and you will do whatever it takes. If that means getting up in front of a large crowd of people and talking about your experiences with raising you child who is autistic then you will do it with no fear because when you relate your experiences you learn from it and you also help others. My commitment to my son is for as long as I am alive and I will live to stand by him because I love him and I know Maria does too. We live for him and we will do everything within our power to help him.
I have made it my life's mission to continue writing this blog about my son and Autism because I need to voice my feelings and address my son's needs and by writing I am not only helping myself but I am leaving a diary of my thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions and love for my wife and our son with the intentions of giving this to him as my gift and expression of love and hope.
I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination but when I feel inspired and know I am doing something with my firm commitment to him and my strong conviction that this is the right thing to do then it seems as soon as a good idea surfaces related to our experiences with autism and our son then the ideas I have are then more easier to be translated into words and the writings are my expressions of love and devotion to him and my purpose is to write to help him and others who can relate to us.
I am also interested in developing a way to help through establishing a trust for my son and possibly a charitable foundation to help him and other autistic children. This will be my mission in life because it is always a positive and noble thing to reach out to others who are in need and by helping others you are giving back and making the world a better place. Life is about making change, making personal sacrifices and commitments and helping others, especially the ones you love and my son is my mission in life because he is an autistic child and he is special to Maria and I and we love him and fully support and respect him and are his biggest advocates. God Bless you Matthew. We love and cherish you and will always be there for you as you inspire us and teach us what love truly means and we are so very appreciative.
Edward D. Iannielli III