Learning to accept my autistic child

The day I found out my child had autism, my world came tumbling down, and it continued its degeneration till the day I found acceptance.

Peace and our own special brand of normalcy followed; we finally had a life again.

As parents, it is very natural that we scout around for different therapies and "cures" to treat our child's condition. I did the same, if not more than any typical parent.

I tried all, if not most, of the therapies out there that were within my means. It was a soul-draining process, to say the least.

My boy did benefit from the therapies. But nothing will ever take away his autism - it is part of who he is.

In hindsight, when I look back, I wish someone had told me about the importance of acceptance.

To the old me, acceptance meant giving up and admitting defeat.

I have been a competitive person since I was young, and to me, there is no problem without a solution.

Autism has made me a changed person, now.

Acceptance is no shame, no defeat and is definitely not giving up on your child. It is to love him for who he is, autism and all.

I hope my letter can help parents with autistic children find acceptance and, eventually, peace in their hearts. It takes time but you will get there one day.

More important than any expensive therapy, unconditional acceptance and love are what we can give to our child.

With that, he will get better and better. And we will also get better.

Rachel Gan (Ms)