This is Caitlyn, she is my daughter, my only child. We didn't know that Caitlyn was on the autistic spectrum until she was 16 years old. That was a shock, to me, to Caitlyn and to our family but we got through those very difficult and emotional initial stages with love and support and now we have an understanding of how Caitlyn sees the world and copes with everything around her, we hope we have made things much less stressful for her.
My photo is to show there is no such thing as people who ‘look’ like they are on the autistic spectrum. My girl laughs and smiles and goes to school every day; she has friends and last year went to her school Christmas Ceilidh and had a wonderful time. Her Senior Prom is in a few months and she is so excited to go to that as well. People on the autistic spectrum can be social, they can go to parties and have a good time, they can do things that everybody else can do - and they enjoy it! What they need to be able to do all these things though is kindness, compassion, understanding and people in their lives who want to make it better, not to make them feel bad or unworthy because they are different. Not less or stupid or quiet or odd - just different. We should embrace their differences and let them show us how truly wonderful and unique they are.