An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Sadness and Dreams

David had a really hard day recently that I chose not to talk about here because of how personal the struggle was for him. It involved him losing control and ending up in a severe meltdown at a place he had been trying ever so hard to be “a good little boy” at so that he would be accepted and liked. Losing control really bothered him because the reactions he received were nowhere near kind or gracious. Ever since, I have been trying to comfort him, encourage him, and re-instate that I understand he did his best and that he is a good boy. Loving, wonderful, kind, and good.

Tonight, as we sit here at the Wi-Fi spot while I work, the boys are watching the movie “Frozen” to give them something to do while they wait. I just heard the most beautiful and heartbreaking sound come from the smallest, most gentle voice… David started singing “Let It Go” with Elsa. I know David was probably just singing with her to be singing and I know he doesn’t understand all the words, but this is the first time I heard him sing it so clearly and with no mistakes. And so softly too… As beautiful as it was to hear my boy’s voice lifted in song, it was also heartbreaking to hear those words come out of such a broken and small voice in light of David’s struggle with self-view right now.

My dream is that one day, children like David (and adults too) will no longer have to hide who they really are and be afraid of their own shortcomings. I pray that someday, society in general will become more gentle and understanding. That people will choose paths of compassion more often and that David and others like him won’t have to live day after day without a friend that cares about them…

We are sadly a far way from my dream, but I have met many wonderful and caring people who share this dream with me. Together, day by day, we will all keep working towards making it a reality.


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