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Guilt and Competition - Hope in Autism

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Guilt and Competition

Sarah Broady
May 26, 2024



My son Samuel was diagnosed with autism at 28 months old. He was mostly non-verbal, except for when he scripted his favorite movie lines or spelled out letters he saw on signs. He had no meaningful communication and he screamed a lot. He repeatedly banged his head on the floor when he had meltdowns. He slowly cut back on the foods he willingly ate until eventually, he only ate goldfish and applesauce. He screamed in people’s faces when they greeted him at church. He had very little eye contact. He didn’t follow simple directions or listen to me when I told him to “come here.” He lined up his toys and would scream if they fell over or if he could not get them to stand exactly where he wanted them.

Sam is nine years old now. He is mainstreamed into his 4th grade class at school. He just graduated out of group speech therapy. He is very verbal. Sometimes, a little too verbal. He has meaningful communication. He can tell me what he wants and he can use manners to do it (though whether or not he uses them is a different issue altogether.) He uses sarcasm and tells jokes. He yells at his brothers and tries to tell them what to do. He can maintain eye contact for longer than two seconds. He is mostly able to respond appropriately to people when they greet him at church – at least he doesn’t scream in their faces anymore. He eats just about every fruit known to man and has a broader palate than his 7-yr old brother who is not on the spectrum, but still only has three foods he willingly eats. He follows simple directions and obeys me about as often as my typical 11-yr old son. He is now what most people would consider “high functioning” on the autism spectrum. He has come so far.

Yet, sometimes I actually feel guilty about his progress.

Keep reading at my writing home for today at Special Needs Parenting: High Functioning Guilt.


Meet Sarah

Sarah is a wife and mother to three sons, one of whom has autism. She is a writer, speaker, and producer and host of A Special Hope Podcast.


Listen Now

Discovering special hope in the stories of those living with special needs, those who strive to minister to special needs families, and the God who is making all things new. Available here, or anywhere you podcast.

If you are enjoying this site and the podcast, please consider a donation of any size to contribute to the costs associated with running a website and a podcast. Any and all gifts are greatly appreciated!

How Movies Helped Me as an Autistic Person

This guest post is by Samuel Broady, a young man who was diagnosed with autism at 2 and plans to attend Columbia College Chicago. Samuel is applying for the Spring 2023 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference.

Check out Sandra’s latest release,
Unexpected Blessings:

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