I realize that I have not said a whole lot about my own private life, but today I wanted to share something “rather personal.” My son has a “slight” degree of “autism.” Autism is a form of retardation. He is a good boy, and often others will pick on him without even realizing his condition. The fact that he is only “slightly” autistic makes his situation even more rare and different to deal with. When growing up his school would put him in “special needs” classes with other kids of the same label. The problem was that while most of those kids were fully autistic my son was not. He can read, he can drive, he is great on the computer and on the surface most people won’t even be able to tell his condition. However, when he was in those classes with other autistic kids, my son “knew” that they were different from him, and he “knew” in his mind that he “didn’t belong there.” He always wanted to be in a normal class setting with “regular” kids. This proved to be quite a dilemma, because while socially he could function in that environment, intellectually he “struggled.” Since he was in between “functional and non functional” there was no “real category” for him… My son is grown now, and he is working part time at a market store. He wants a lot more out of life, and rightfully so. I want the best for him as well. He wonders why women his age keep going after all the guys who take advantage of them when they could have a man like him who will love them with all he has. I had to let him know that life is not always fair, but there is someone out there for “everyone.” He needs to keep on “being the good man that he is and be patient.” I also told him that he needs a better paying job as well. Above all I treated my son as though he was just as normal as the everyone else growing up. I jumped in his case whenever I had to and I showed him encouragement for everything positive that he attempted to do. Now I am hoping that I can get him to pass his driver’s license test. He actually “passed” the written part, but he has failed the driving portion twice and only has one more time to do so or else he will have to start all over again. This would be “major.” Because of his condition, he will often “panic” when confronted with a real serious situation. I will do my best to ensure that he is relaxed and focused. I wanted to share this with you today because I know there are others out there who can relate to my experience. This topic is not meant to enlist sympathy or pity. My son is fine, and I will do everything in my power to make sure of that. I am just hoping that maybe my story today will uplift someone going through a similar struggle. Hey, life is not always fair, but we need to make the most of what we have.Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer today.
Stephanie Mills and Brett Jolly before a concert