I’ve been reading Unstrange Minds by Roy Richard Grinker, which I think should be on most people’s reading list. I saw this powerful passage and felt like I had to share it here. He’s talking about his autistic daughter, Isabel. I think his message speaks for itself.
Isabel has taught me that the unexpected, even the beautiful, can emerge even from the undesirable, like a lotus growing out of the mud, its beauty and purity unsullied by its origin. That beauty can be found in a single person, inside of whom there is something — no, not something ‘normal,’ but a brilliant light or an inner truth struggling to blossom.
So when people pity me for my daughter, I don’t understand the sentiment. I work hard for Isabel, but I don’t regret it or feel sorry for myself. At the end of the day, when I tuck her in, she’s not a case of autism, or even a child with social deficits and language delays. She’s simply my daughter. My job is to clear the land for whatever growth is to come, even if, sometimes, no one else believes it will happen.
(Unstrange Minds, p. 35)