Friday, March 8, 2013


I kissed Sophia goodnight as I tucked her into bed and I uttered "I love you" for probably the billionth time in her lifetime.Then I felt that unmistakable twinge of pain in my soul that only a parent can feel when there is no response. I took deep breaths while watching her fall asleep, her chest rising and falling, and her innocent face of an angel slowly relaxing. God, I love her so much.

It's going to be another night of painstaking research and deliberation on how to help her in my own way. I will go through everything I learned from hours after hours of her daily therapy. Yes, I am struggling. Because I can only rely on the scrawny writings on the notebook where her therapists chronicle her development and the hundreds of articles I read night after night in trying to educate myself on how to help her best. What hurts the most is knowing that I can never reach into my daughter's world without their help. I feel useless and incompetent, at times, considering that I cannot even decipher my own child's mind. Nevertheless, I have to accept that my daughter is very special and the complexity of her condition should not hamper my intent of being a great mother to her.

Hanging out in bookstores

On some days, I curse the word therapy, and feel the urge to lash out loud if I hear that word too many times in a day. However, some children have to be taught how to show love and affection. Some children have to be taught how to speak. Some children have to be taught how to hug. Some children have to be taught how to control what their mind is forcing them to do. Some children have to be taught how to react appropriately. Some children require very special education and my daughter is one of them. So, after a few minutes of calming my inner voice, I would usually just laugh the urge off. 

"Your daughter is autistic?" Asked a woman I met at the playhouse where my daughter usually plays. She had a look on her face that said too much of her callous indifference and intent to belittle my daughter. I bit my tongue. 

Sometimes people are too ignorant to understand. I usually ignore stares from strangers over my child's behavior. I catch people staring,laughing and whispering to each other when my daughter gets one of her panic attacks in public, and it hurts me like hell. I remember riding a bus with my daughter and she had one of her 'autism rage' when she wanted us to sit beside the window like we usually do,but we couldn't because the bus was full and I had to stand in the aisle, while carrying her and a big backpack. She was crying like a tortured animal and thrashing about, while all I could do was whisper soft words to calm her down. Nobody offered a seat. All they did was to scoff and stare at my daughter as if she was the most humiliating thing they have ever seen. My child might be different, but she's never less than anybody else, and hence should be treated with respect. It took me a great deal of patience to keep myself from lashing out at them for being such horrible people. How downright selfish of them. But they just never know how it is like to have autism, nor to have a child diagnosed with it. I cannot argue with ignorance.

Internal Dialogue

Autism is heartbreaking. Sure, I cry myself to sleep at night. I cry myself to sleep as a means of recovery from a day of raging autism. I cry because of the hurt as any mother of a child with autism does. Crying it all out keeps us sane. However, crying it out does not mean that we are weak, or that we are ashamed of our child. We have come this far, and we will still be pushing forward with tears of love in our eyes.

Someday, everything will pay off. I know I will be surprised when my Sophia looks me in the eye, unprompted for the first time. I know I will cry with bliss once she gives me an unprompted hug. I know I will shout for joy when she finally responds to my words. I will hear her say "I love you, too" and "Mama", and I know I will be forever thankful. Anytime now, every painstaking sacrifice will finally yield greater things.

Yes, my daughter has autism. Thanks for asking. Maybe someday, I'll look at your face again, and tell you how strong my daughter really is, only if you're finally worth my words. 'Til then, I don't owe you any explanation.

(This post was originally published on and has been moved after the creation of this blog site dedicated to SOPHIA. Thank you.)

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