My son, TJ, is 16 and has autism.

When he was little, my husband and I were in a fog of new terms, new therapies, new people — new everything. And we wanted to try everything to see what worked best for TJ and what would make him the most successful he could be.

Our world became a world of firsts, where the smallest successes were celebrated.

First words! Later than the other kids his age, but who cares? And once the words started coming, they didn’t stop. Huge celebration.

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