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US Autism & Asperger Association
November 21, 2012

Welcome to USAAA WeeklyNews, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

What are You Thankful for?

by Joseph Mercola, MD

Besides sharing time with family and friends over food, the primary ingredient not to be overlooked is, of course, gratitude. Take a moment to consider what you're truly thankful for, and share it with those you love. For inspiration, I will leave you with this short story:

blind boy"A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: 'I am blind, please help.' There were only a few coins in the hat. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see it.

What are You Thankful for?

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were now giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were going. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, 'Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?' The man said, 'I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way. I wrote: Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.'"

"Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively."

Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But while the first simply stated the obvious, the second reminded people how lucky they were that they were not blind...

Moral of the story?

Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life you have 1,000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear. The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling. And even more beautiful, is knowing that you are the reason behind it! And with that, I wish you all a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

I am Thankful for...

Quotes from parents

boy ipad

"I'm thankful that I'm learning to live in the moment. To play when we're playing. To climb when we're climbing. To laugh when we're laughing, and we laugh - he and I - often and loudly. To cry when we're crying because we can't connect. To lock eyes before we lock hands as we run to play."

"Is parenting him harder than the unfixabilities of raising a neurotypical child who cannot retain friends, or who gets pregnant at fourteen, or who is an ungrateful, entitled, unapologetic, dismissive jerk? Now that I've been doing this for a while and we have defined our own happiness, I don't think so. I look into my beaming, affectionate son's eyes -- they are gorgeous -- and wonder, why is anyone supposed feel sorry for the two of us, in our contented companionship? I'm grateful that this beautiful boy is my son."

mother son
father son

"And to think I thought this child would not connect with me, wouldn't be able to show me his love, his wants, his needs, when frankly, the one thing he does do honestly, fully, completely and unconditionally is love me to the moon and back."

"The weight of years and years of struggles giving way to heart-exploding pride. How five seconds with a soccer ball mean more to the two of us than a driver's license or a high-scoring SAT."

soccer girl
kids table

"I'm thankful for having the opportunity to find out who my true friends were. [Our son] made it easy to filter out folks from our lives who showed their true colors after he was diagnosed with autism. Instead of wasting time trying to get them to accept our son for who he was, we chose instead to focus on those individuals who already knew what an amazing gift [our son] has been and continues to be."

"I'm thankful for IEP meetings. They make dental appointments seem pleasant."


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What are You Thankful for?

I am Thankful for...

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