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One Word to Describe a Million Different Stories

Guest Writer: Brittany Lagarde | @happylagardeless

Our son Zion was diagnosed with autism in February 2020.

I was scared because I felt helpless and clueless and overwhelmed.

Suddenly, I had the rug ripped out from under me again.

See, my daughter Sawyer has a terminal genetic disorder called Sanfilippo Syndrome.

It’s a lot like childhood Alzheimer’s.

There’s no cure and we got her diagnosis when I was six months pregnant with Zion.

There was a 1-in-4 chance that he’d suffer from it as well.

Three days after birth we got him tested.

He didn’t have Sanfilippo, praise Jesus.

We could have hopes and dreams for him to be a

“typical child”.

Until we started seeing some of his “quirks”.

He’d only eat like two things.

He had lots of sensory issues and lots of meltdowns.

We couldn’t figure it out.

I thought he was mirroring his sister's behavior.

Doctors and therapists told me he was just a boy,

he was fine…

didn’t need a label…

he just had some behavioral issues.

But my mama gut knew there was more to it.

I had this feeling that he needed more support than I was currently offering him.

Because I was a mess.

He needed more to succeed in school and society as a whole.

And he needed the label to get those services.

I wanted him to have the tools that he needed to live a full life.

So, I got him evaluated and then diagnosed.

You know what the gentleman that diagnosed him told me?

He said:

“Autism is one word to describe a million different stories.”

I was so grateful to hear that because there were so many misconceptions I had when it came to autism.

When my son got diagnosed—

I figured he’d be like all those kids in the movies I saw that struggled.

If I’m being honest, though—

He’s not.

He’s just Zion.

He has the biggest heart and joy that lights up the entire room.

He’s so genuine and kind and loving.

He’s so smart and creative and sees the world so purely.

See, autism isn’t a dirty word.

It can be hard and painful and scary to walk through but what I’d love for you to know is that:

If your child is diagnosed—

they’re still in there.

They still have a purpose and they’re still going to make their mark in this world.

Autism isn’t a dirty word.

It’s just a word to explain a million different stories.


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