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Autism Does Not Define Us

Apr 8, 2019

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Posted In : Featured

By: Susan Walters Brown

Susan Brown is a mom of three under five living in the D.C. suburbs. She stays busy chasing after her little ones full-time and works part-time on her skincare business. She is a newer autism mom who is learning so much and hopes to bring awareness to other families walking a similar journey.

Awareness. Advocacy.

These are words I heard and appreciated and even put into practice in my five years in the classroom, but never expected I would encounter in my own family.

June of 2017, our lives changed forever when the words “autism spectrum disorder” were uttered in a doctor’s office at Walter Reed. Things felt heavy and sad. I cried loads of tears and was unsure how things would ever look happy again. The word “autism” was scary. It was not a total surprise to us, but hearing that it was real changed things. How would our family move forward? What did this mean for our son’s future? For our future? Lots of questions racing through our minds without any answers at all. It sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth. 

David is always looking for an adventure!

Oh, how far we’ve come!

Today, I joyfully celebrate the life of this amazing little boy who was specifically placed in our family. He’s taught us many valuable life lessons as he overcomes challenges and shows the world his heart and true self with reckless abandon.

Autism doesn’t feel so heavy anymore. It does not define who he is or what our family is all about. It’s simply part of our reality, but not our identity. He’s learned so much and come very far already. 

As autism awareness month begins I want to share my heart because I know there are others out there who need to hear this. To some parents, at this moment things may feel uncertain. It is hard to describe the scary, messy emotions that accompany a tough diagnosis for your baby. You may not know how to feel or where to turn. I’m here to tell you there is hope and joy waiting for you on the other side. I see you and am here for you. Raising this son of mine is truly the sweetest calling of my life. I couldn’t be more honored to be his mama.

All April long I will be sharing more of my heart and our journey. I would LOVE for you to tag anyone below who would benefit from hearing these words, imperfect as they may be.

Nominate someone you know to receive a trampoline for therapy.


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