Enlightenment and the passing of time

You know… I was reading one of my old journals the other day (a recurrent theme of late, methinks) and I came across an entry from when we first were learning of the diagnosis of autism for H. The entry was referring to the OT assessment that was a part of the diagnostic process at BC Children’s Hospital: “He has serious problems with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. The OT says it is unusual to see a child with such marked disruptions across so many of the domains…”

I had forgotten about this. We live so in the moment at our house. I wish this was more because of a spiritual choice, rather than simply day-to-day necessity. I have occasionally wondered if parenting a child with autism/autistic child might put one on the fast track to Nirvana (not the grunge band, rather, Buddhist enlightenment – the Diamond Raft of Varjayana Buddhism where theoretically one can achieve enlightenment in a single lifetime).

I do intend to become a Buddhist someday. And please, it is not intended to sound glib or disrespectful, but it is very true that I just haven’t been able to find time. I suspect that as long as I am still at the place where I have to schedule spirituality… sadly and ironically, I would likely be missing the mark.

And now that I am writing this I am not sure how it connects exactly to what I know certain people are going through… are struggling with this very day… but I wanted to say that we do have further to go than many families, and our little guys also have further to go. The way we do this is by taking the very next step… we don’t need to plan the whole journey – the next step is enough, and sometimes it is all that we are able to handle.

I don’t know how I could lose track of such a major accomplishment, because the reality is now my child no longer needs to carry a backpack full of books to weigh him down on every outing, and he doesn’t kick the door of every bathroom stall in a public bathroom as a sensory seeking stim, and… I can’t even tell you or pinpoint when this changed.

We are living in the moment- and sometimes we do not have all that much time to reflect before the next moment whisks us into its wild vortex, and busies us with the next necessity.

And then one day

… suddenly

8 years have passed

and an opportunity

to look back is, in itself,

a moment of enlightenment

One step at a time

can take you an awfully long way…

The potential for growth

in a child is astounding

And hope is in our bones.


30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.


© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2011)  

About Leah Kelley, Ed.D.

Leah Kelley, M.Ed, Ed.D., Writer, Consultant, Activist, Speaker, and Educator, working with Teacher Candidates at UBC. Authors blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding, Neurodiversity paradigm, Disability Justice, and connecting Disability Studies in Education(DSE)to Educational Practice. Twitter: @leah_kelley Facebook: 30 Days of Autism: Leah Kelley
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4 Responses to Enlightenment and the passing of time

  1. Margo says:

    Progress, not perfection. My mantra! Not sure where it originates but I have adopted it as my own. I’ll share it….


  2. Leah Kelley says:

    Lovely… as usual ❀
    Thank you for your words, Margo.
    I always look forward to your comments ♥


  3. suvarna says:

    hope is in our bones, yes.


  4. Pingback: Enlightenment and the passing of time (via Thirty Days of Autism) | Thirty Days of Autism

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