With Autism Awareness Month ending, I’ll still be extremely aware of autism. I’ll be aware of the meltdowns and the little improvements that we celebrate. I’ll be aware of Carter’s random moods and his new likes and dislikes. His habits and his noises. I’ll be aware of my patience and his tolerance. But most of all, I’ll be aware of Carter. His smile and his laugh. His sadness and his pouty lip. I’ll be aware of his curiosity and his inquisitive mind. The way he knows what you’re talking about, but pretends he doesn’t. How he smirks when he’s been caught. I’ll be aware of his kisses and his bright eyes. His love and happiness. I’ll always be aware of Carter. Not as autistic, but just as Carter. Sometimes happy, sometimes not, but always loveable.
Autism doesn’t define who Carter is. It’s just a name for his characteristics. It may be another way to describe him, but it’s definitely not the only way. It’s not the first thing that should come to mind when you think of Carter.