I, for one, fully realize that autism is a different experience for different people. Some are more significantly affected by the disabling aspects of autism. Some are in environments that, combined with their autistic characteristics make things difficult. There are rough spots over the lifespan. Some have challenges or discomforts that their communication differences make very difficult to convey and to request help for. Some have co-occurring cognitive or physical disabilities. Some just frankly want to be neurotypical. The list goes on and on. Autism is not "all good", and as parents my wife and I worry all the time about Baby C and what challenges lie ahead for him. That goes for both of his brothers too, as with any parents and kids, but for Baby C and his older brother J, we have the added concerns of autism.
As of now, Colin is just a happy, growing boy. He has strong likes and dislikes, he is kind of obnoxious most of the time due to pretty constant 'loudness', and his happy moments shine brightly. During his first 12-16 months of life, there were precious few happy moments. He was, quite simply, the most challenging child I have ever met, seen, or even heard of. He almost brought us to our knees with his perpetual, um, er, .... discomfort with the world around him. It is a tremendous relief to see the improvement in his demeanor and enjoyment of himself and our family.
This photo shows Baby C surrounded by some of the wonderful people at REINS, where he is the youngest rider they have ever had. After a period of adjustment, he seems to have reached a point (on most days) where he genuinely enjoys riding horses. In case you are wondering ... that's a pretty small horse. And this picture was taken while we were still fighting the 'helmet' battle with him.