Autism can be an all-consuming emotional roller costar ride. This abbreviated story may sound cut and dry, but that is far from how the past 14 years have been.
Sophia is my granddaughter.
We call her Sofa loafa (Sofa for short) because as a toddler she loved to loaf around on the family room sofa. She was hard to comfort as an infant and was a very difficult toddler. At three years old, she was diagnosed with autism. My daughter had to quickly come to terms with accepting that Sofa was autistic. Simultaneously, she had to begin the enormous daily task of getting all the necessary resources to help her teach Sofa how to function in this world.
I could go on and on with stories that are charming in retrospect but were very stressful in the moment. The last 14 years have been trying, but we as a family have come together and found a way to make our world fit Sofa.
After being kicked out of several schools, we have finally found one that’s a good fit. She has been making huge strides in her development over the last three years and is finally making up for a lot of wasted time. At 14, she now talks and reads at a 4th grade level. She has a wonderful sense of humor and loves every holiday. Her memory skills are amazing. She loves her family and most especially loves her sister Mya, who is only 15 months older.
Mya has become Sofa’s best friend and has been a wonderful source of support and comfort for her.
As my husband says, Sofa keeps us real. We continue to be there for her and my daughter. Most likely Sofa will need to be helped into her adulthood. We all adore Sofa as she reminds us all the time how humbling life can be.
Allison Smith Design cares deeply about supporting organizations that provide help and resources to families dealing with autism. We will be donating a portion of proceeds to The American Autism Association each year. Please click the link if you’re interested in learning more about this organization and how you can help.