Love and Autism


Love and AutismGuest Submission by Julie Degollado

There’s a reason that the symbol for Autism is a multi-colored puzzle piece. As a mom with two boys who are on the spectrum, my world is often a maze of figuring out how to get the round peg to fit in the square hole.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and I’m so thankful that today’s world has a myriad of information, resources, support groups, events, and therapists. All of these things are immensely helpful, and my family and I have taken advantage of many of them.

But at the end of the day, all that help isn’t here to tuck my boys in at night. Love is.

I don’t know where I would be without love. God is love, and in Him I find the sustaining power that gives me the strength to do the hard things. And as a parent with kids on the spectrum, there are a LOT of hard things. 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. -1 Corinthians 13:7-8a (ESV)

To me, this verse is the essence of loving a child with autism.

It bears all things. When my child is made fun of because he doesn’t know how to follow social cues. When the youngest one vomits because the texture of the food is intolerable. Love gives me patience to show my kids, and the others also, a little bit of grace.

It believes all things. Will my child make it through school? Go to college? Hold more than a mediocre job? Be loved by someone other than me? Love helps me to believe. 

It hopes all things. Love encourages the beautiful, artistic endeavors. It champions the ability to think way outside the box. Love envisions a life with filled with affection and success.

It endures all things. Love allows me to quietly care for the distraught feelings. It fights against the the mantra of ‘I’m so dumb.’ It understands the fixation on whatever earth-shattering thing is upsetting his world.


I’m so thankful for this promise, because no matter how much I love my kids, I am incapable of loving them without end. When my frustrations pour out, when I am decidedly not the picture-perfect parent of the year, when I have to apologize once again for failing the patience test — Love brings forgiveness.

Autism is a mirror that reveals the things in me that God needs to refine.  It is a daily process of getting it right, and then getting it wrong again. I call that sanctification. Because of Autism, I am learning to trust God in a way that is not humanly possible. And through it, I am receiving a heart that loves deeper than I could ever imagine.

Comment below with your stories of love when it comes to kids on the autism spectrum!


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