Home > In Their Own Words > In Their Own Words – Hope Found in the Light

In Their Own Words – Hope Found in the Light

This post is by Tara Washburn, an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome. She says, ‘I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 28. I have spent the last 5 years coming to understand where I am now and what was happening inside of myself when I was a moderate-low functioning child. This is Autism from my perspective – Autism from the inside out.’ Visit Tara’s Blog, ‘Hearts that Feel‘ for more.

Autistic individuals are often put into a spectrum. This spectrum is an indicator showing how well your loved ones are able to adapt in society. I also have a spectrum, but it has a different meaning.

Everyone is on my spectrum. There are many that are on the low end of your spectrum that are on the highest end of mine. There are many who are successful (according to the world) who use manipulative means to make circumstances suit them. These people are on the low end of my spectrum. My spectrum measures function in lies or truth. It measures from despotic darkness to liberating light.

I do not pretend to be, or comprehend, the light. But I’d like to share my understanding of it and how it relates to individuals that are placed on your spectrum.

The light of truth is blinding when we are not used to seeing it. For example, imagine that you are outside on a dark night and suddenly a brilliant flash of lightning streaks across the sky. Initially you flinch and are filled with both fear and wonderment. So much is determined in that flash of light. Either you cling to the fear of the lightning, so brilliant, powerful and scary, or you cling to the wonderment, so new and somehow enticing.

Likewise, in the end, we either choose the fear that leads to hatred and suffering, or we choose the courage that leads to love and healing. There is no other path, really. All choices ultimately end in either place: we cling to the darkness or we embrace the light.

There are several ways that the world can harm to your loved ones. There are selfish people who take advantage of others, evil people who molest and make afraid, misguided people who unintentionally harm, clumsy and careless people who maim by mistake. Yet, focusing on situations that bring harm, and the individuals responsible, will not bring light to those who are seeking it. It may “take down” one more institution or individual, but it will not stop the abuse, lies, greed and corruption at the heart of the matter. If you fight them using their own weapons, you lose. Period. You cannot experience a victory for light using darkness.

I have often seen homes that cling to fear – the pain and anguish never seem to vanish out of their lives. I have seen homes that embrace truth – the healing and light seem to permeate not only those who live there, but all who enter. When I enter this kind of home I leave feeling as though I am in Heaven for a moment. I have seen other children on the “spectrum” who are likewise affected.

If you truly want to help your child, forgive those whom you feel have wronged your precious one, no matter the motive and reason. Forgive, love and you will see your child light up. The next time he begins to rock and cover his ears, running from darkness, look inside, find light and show him that there is a safe space in you.

  1. Barbara Pons
    September 23, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I will have to remember your last sentences. Forgive the ones that have wronged my precious one. that is difficult but you are probably right. Im always fighting for him. I don’t want to see anyone do anything wrong to him. I want to see him happy. There are occasions where i defended him and when he saw my anger it made him even more angry. So i shall take your advice but it wont be easy. Thanks for sharing!! :)

  2. September 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    It never is easy. Forgiving someone who has wronged me, is somewhat easy. To forgive someone who has wronged someone I feel protective of is much harder because, at the root of it all, I have to forgive myself as well. Even though it isn’t the truth, I feel responsible for the hurt, for not protecting them. So I not only have to forgive the wrong from someone else, but I have to forgive myself for “letting” it happen. That is why it is so hard. Once we’ve forgiven the person who did the wrong, we are left with facing the truth or running. It is much easier to run from something we can’t see. If I am so busy being angry at the person who wronged, then I don’t have the time to see that I am really angry at myself. Which would lead to me discovering that the anger is a cover-up for my own pain. Which would then lead to opening my heart and feeling things that I am trying to hide from and keep out of my conscious awareness.

  3. Elaina
    September 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you for your insight. I love to hear from the point of view of individuals diagnosed as it helps me think of things from my son’s perspective, not that of the “typical” world. I have noticed that since we started making decisions based upon love and not fear of losing material things that our whole house seems happier. It’s when we are consumed by things, and anger, you are right, we create more darkness. Thank you for being you and sharing that with us.

    • October 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you for your comments. I’m so glad you ate experiencing the “lighter” side of life. :) This is actually just part of what I originally wrote, but it was too long to put up here. The article in it’s entirety is on my blog titled “Don’t Let Go!” I hope you’ll read it! Thanks again!

  4. Lisa Ledden
    October 1, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Tara, what a beautiful letter you wrote with so much wisdom for most of us in this world. God has allowed this letter from you to pierce my heart at a very appropriate time in my life. How HE works! I love to hear from individuals on the spectrum as well. You help us see into our own children. God bless you and thank you for giving hope to those of us with a small child with autism.

    • October 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      I’m so glad that this could reach you and that it gave you hope. Thank you for letting me know. The full article can be found on my blog if you are interested – this is just a skeleton of what I actually wrote. The post is titled, “Don’t Let Go!” thanks again for reading and for letting me know that this helped. It encourages me to keep writing when I know that what I’ve written is useful.

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