Jack, Autism is Not Your Excuse

Carrie Cariello

Dear Jack,

I had a teacher who used to say there are two sides to everything, even a piece of paper.

For most of my life, I believed him. I pictured arguments and negotiations as a lightweight sheet of paper floating down on a table, and I always tried to consider each side.

But then I met you. Rather, I had you. And when you started to talk, I realized there are more than two sides to you, or for you. There’s your side, there’s the world’s side, and then there’s autism.

In some ways, autism sort of stands between you and the world. It’s like this small, invisible shield. No, not a shield exactly. It’s more like a two-way mirror at a carnival—the kind that distorts your face when you look through it.

Your view of the world is blurred by loud noises like sirens, and you have to…

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