It is not going away. The autism, that is. No matter how much progress she has made, or continues to make. No matter how much the expressive language gap is narrowed, or how reciprocal the conversations may be. It will always be there. The obsessions, the rituals. The rigidity, the inflexible thinking, the poor frustration tolerance, the emotional reactivity, the perseveration. These things will continue to impact her relationships with peers, people in the community, our family.
I have spent the last year of my life telling myself that if we give her an extra year in preschool she will be caught up. The issues will be resolved, the gaps filled in. I foolishly let myself believe the autism would simply disappear.
Let me be clear about something. I fully accept who my daughter is, autism and all. I respect her neurological differences and am so proud of how she has overcome the many challenges she has already faced in her young life. I love her silly sense of humor and the unique way she views the world. It is just so hard to see her struggle, to push people away, especially those who love her the most.