You see things; and you say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and say, “Why not?” (George Bernard Shaw)
I have so many dreams for my daughter. I dream that one day she will live in a world where she will be judged by the content of her character and not her diagnosis of autism. I dream that people will not immediately underestimate her, when they learn of her diagnosis. Instead, they will take the time to see all the potential that lies within her. They will see her humor, compassion, intelligence and one of the most beautiful, gentle souls to ever walk the face of this earth. I dream that one day, I will not have to fight so hard to ensure that she has equal access to opportunity, education and the chance to live as independent a life as possible. I dream that there will come a time when our society will help to ease the crushing financial burdens placed upon families like ours, as we try to provide every form of intervention, education, therapy and medication that our children need to reach their truest potential. I dream that we, as a society, will stop assuming that simply because someone can not speak, that they have nothing to say. I dream that advancements in technology will continue to unlock the voices of so many autistic children and adults, trapped in a world of silence. I dream that our most vulnerable children will no longer be subject to bullying and abuse. I dream that there will no longer be a month, week or day designated to autism awareness, but instead that awareness will permeate each & every day of the year. I dream that my child will get to have her happily ever after, even if it is not the one found in fairy tales & fables. I dream that in her life she will be blessed with true and enduring friendships, and not simply kind acquaintances. I dream that she will get to experience true love and the opportunity to travel through life with a supportive, accepting and loving partner by her side. I dream that she will always continue to believe in herself and her dreams. I dream that she will have a forum one day to teach others so many of the incredibly valuable lessons that she has taught me. I dream that every parent out there, who is burying their head deep in denial, too afraid to accept that their child is on the spectrum, will look at my daughter and see that it is not a death sentence. I dream that we will unlock the mystery of autism and gain a better understanding of this puzzling disorder. Knowledge is power and I dream that we will have more of that one day. I dream so many dreams for my daughter and for the world in which she must live. But dreaming alone is not enough. And so, I will do more than just dream. I will act.