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My daughter with autism is not broken

This guest blog post is by mom Maegan Sanders.

"There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more."

-Robert M. Hensel

I had a friend ask me, "What's the hardest part?" I thought for a second... it could've been the inability to communicate with my child. It could've been the financial struggle. It could've been the fear of the unknown, but then it came to me; other people. People that pass by walking down the isle at Walmart. People sitting patiently to be called back by the nurse. People with their judgmental stares and snide remarks. People that don't mean any harm, but they still cause it. 

Other people make autism hard. 

Our story. Our journey.

Our journey is going to be different than the little autistic boy's down the street, because Harper's autism is our journey; solely. Every minute of every single day we live with Harper's autism. We have our good days and our bad days. We also have our great days and our "when is bed time" days. 

"She'll grow out of it."

"She seems normal."

Or my favorite one yet...

"Give her time, her autism was just a guess."

Again... other people. 

I don't share our journey to receive comments. I don't share our journey to start arguements. I don't share our journey because I want pity. 

She's not broken. 

I share our journey because I want everyone to know that the lost little girl behind the invisible veil of autism is being found. I share because I want everyone to know the obstacles we face everyday and shine a little light of hope. 

She's not broken. 

She's one of the strongest little toddlers I know. 

All the battles she faces. All the frustration

All other people see is a two year old that doesn't talk. A two year old that doesn't look people in the eye (mostly). A two year old that doesn't gesture or express that they've understood what's been said to them. A two year old that would rather be alone than play with a group of children her ageA two year old that won't stop spinning. A two year old that is breathing heavy panting-like in a crowded room. A two year that's being bounced by her mom in the waiting room just to comfort her. A two year old that grunts and screams. 

Autism is only one part of her. What they don't see is that she's also beautiful. She's kind and strong-willed. She wouldn't hurt anyone or anything. She's fearless. 

She finds a way to brighten any room she walks into. Finds ways without words to express what she wants. She finds ways to say "I love you" without a hug or a kiss.

She's doesn't deserve the negative noise from other people. She doesn't deserve the sideways stares. 

She's not broken.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.