The Land of Autism is a different place than what most of us are used to.
It can be a scary place at times; especially if you are not used to the new road. It can make you nervous and uncomfortable.
It can be a fascinating place; to look at things from a different perspective because sometimes things appear different than what they really are.
Some days the Land makes you really tired, beat and muddy because the roads are sometimes wet, muddy and rocky; just like other lands can be.
Sometimes it's like driving on a newly paved road; and you're grateful because you feel like you're going somewhere and making a difference.
The Land of Autism can be a tricky place where the signs point in all different directions; when you're trying to figure out if it's just a phase, part of growing up...and if it's not. It can be a confusing place because you don't always read the road signs right even though you're POSITIVE you did. You can get pretty banged up; bumps, bruises and skinned up knees.
It can be a happy place where everybody is welcome. It doesn't matter who you are, how you talk, what you look like, you can be yourself and feel welcome and loved.
In the Land of Autism, you have to pack for all kinds of weather. Sometimes it's sunny, in the 80's for weeks on end...and then suddenly the rain pours and the wind howls and you're not sure how long it's going to last. Sometimes it's a quick storm, sometimes it lasts for weeks. Sometimes you start to hate the rain even though you know it's necessary for things to grow.
The Land of Autism can be a frustrating place because of all the crazy drivers that cut you off and sometimes run you off the road; you will get angry, life just doesn't seem fair...because the rules are always changing and sometimes you're the last to know. Sometimes you're the one cutting other's off. Try not to. You get confused. You don't always know right away how to back up and get back on the road. But really it's a much safer place to drive than many places outside of the land. Things could be worse, but you don't realize it at the time when you're sitting on the side of the road, stuck in the mud.
The Land of Autism can be the most beautiful place you've ever been to. It is a land of forgiveness and love. It is a place of faith because it is just too complicated to understand without it. There are lots of rainbows in the land that make you look up and see the beautiful colors through the rain. It's a place of hope.
The Land of Autism can be a lonely place because sometimes you're completely alone. Because even the people who love you most can't always visit every place within the land with you. They don't know how to get there...so they stand on the outskirts calling for you when your lost. It can break your heart. It can break theirs.
The land of Autism has beautiful creeks and rivers that wind throughout. There are strong bridges that you've built and crossed; some that you're still building. Some bridges aren't so strong, like the rope ones that you struggle across...but yes, YOU CROSSED. There are some creeks that only have rocks to jump onto and balance your way over; that you've tried hundreds of times to cross...but you just can't yet. But you WILL.
In the Land of Autism, there's a lot to learn; just like in all lands. You will learn how strong and capable you are because of the many steep canyons you will hike down, through and back up. You will travel to other lands and have so much to offer because of the maps you've drawn out and studied. You will have confidence in yourself because you've been to the deepest part of the canyons and the top of the highest peeks. You've built all those bridges and mapped out a course. You are strong. You are amazing. You have to remember this on the days when it's just easier to sit at the bottom of the canyon. You have so much to offer other lands because of the things that have happened FOR you.