The way I think about autism…

The way I think about autism…

This post is especially dedicated to those who are not italian. It’s really a pleasure to see that people from American, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Great Britain, France and even from India are reading our blog and are increasing day by day.

I don’t know what having an autistic child means in a country different from mine; I don’t even exacly know what this means for other italian people. I know what this has signified for me, and what it still signifies.

My youngest son is now 12. When he was 2 we discovered that he had autism. I think that I passed through the whole range of emotions: despair, disbelief, anger, acceptance, strength, will to fight, serenity…

All this in a few years, of course.

The turning point of my little experience has been when Luca, my son, was 4, and Nicola, my older one, was 6. 

That day I had gone to Nicola’s new school; for almost an hour I had been concentrated on very “normal” things: talking with teachers or other children’s mothers, visiting the school, laughing, enjoying the time.

This had been the only nice moment for a very long time;  for an hour or two I probably forgot autism and the fact that this terrible thing was happening to my family.

In my way home I suddenly realized that I had been happy. I had been happy and I felt guilty. I felt like happiness was something that would have belonged, in the future, to Nicola, but not to Luca. And I felt more and more guilty.

I stopped the car and cried.

Then I spent some time to think; and later, like Scarlett O’hara, the heroine of my childhood and adolescence, I raised my head and smiled…

What I decided that very moment, in my car, was that I would try to be happy; that I strongly wanted  both my children to be happy; that my son’s autism would have “entered” in the “normality” of our lives, not the contrary: we never, ever would tranform our lives into isolation and loneliness.

Ever since my life hasn’t always been a happy one. But it has been “a life”; a life with normal difficulties, nice moments and blue ones. Like everybody’s life.

This blog is about this. I used to like travelling. I stopped when I discovered Luca had autism. I began again a few years ago and I still want. 

And I desire to help you, who are not italian, you friends with those special difficulties of having in your family persons who have autism;  I desire to help you with information of  “autism friendly” restaurants, bars, shops, tour guides and everything, if you want to come to visit my country; Chiara and I are meeting many people, are talking to them about autism and are trying to let our town be a really welcoming one.

We are only at the beginning of our goal. But we hardly want to.

Please, continue to read us.

And trust us.

Un abbraccio.






Elisabetta Tonini

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