Don't think that there's a different, better child 'hiding' behind the autism. This is your child. Love the child in front of you. Encourage his strengths, celebrate his quirks, and improve his weaknesses, the way you would with any child. You may have to work harder on some of this, but that's the goal.
Hope for the best, survive the worst, find humor wherever you can.
Every time you look at a house in Los Angeles, the real-estate agent will tell you that someone famous once lived there. It always seemed irrelevant to me: Does a property gain value just because Alfred Hitchcock used to eat breakfast there?
Once your kid reaches middle school, parents are really supposed to fade out of the social picture. Kids are supposed to make their own plans, keep up with sophisticatedly crude discussions, and be able to go out on their own without supervision.
Sometimes people say that kids with autism aren't capable of love. That's ridiculous. My son loves deeply. He just doesn't communicate well.
I love science. I hate supposition, superstition, exaggeration and falsified data. Show me the research, show me the results, show me the conclusions - and then show me some qualified peer reviews of all that.
For a long time our son was a little boy with autism, which was a certain kind of challenge. Now that he's a teenager with autism - and a teenager who notices girls - we're faced with something else altogether.
When our son's autism was diagnosed at the age of 2, there was no clear prognosis. We didn't even know if he'd ever learn to talk. But we found talented people to work with him and he improved, slowly at first and then more rapidly.
I'm a novelist who read a lot as a kid. When you grow up on books and then grow up to write books, famous authors are a lot more meaningful to you than TV and movie stars.
One advantage to having a kid on the spectrum: they tend to be rule followers. Socially, things are harder for them than most kids.
Kids don't talk like adults, but kids on the spectrum don't necessarily fall into the same patterns of speaking or have the same interests as other kids their age.
My son, who's on the spectrum is a very rigid thinker. He needs clear-cut definitions of right and wrong. Anything hazy or gray confuses him. For instance, if I try to get him to see that a friend behaved badly, he'll often get upset with me because a friend is a 'good guy' by definition, in his book.