So many life events have lead up the the request of a significant Birthday for our son Logan.. Logan struggles. We struggle. No- I mean REALLY Struggle. We do not use the word autism lightly. In fact, it frustrates me when other people do. Autism is not seasonal- it is something that affects you daily. Not a pity card to pull out when your child throws a fit. Here is our experience of Autism. I regularly wake from a dead sleep- Jump up frantically because all is "too quiet"... to make sure my child is still sleeping and hasn't opened the front door and disappeared- that's our autism. We are still budgeting for and buying pull-ups and wipes for a pre-teen. That's our autism. Listening to the same Eric Clapton song ( Tears in Heaven) for the 47th time that day to ease/ prevent his self injury, that's our autism. Taking our son to the ER because he is "just not himself" only to be turned away several times because, "He has autism; Sorry Mom" only to find out at another ER that he has a double ear infection, strep throat and a major sinus infection- that's our autism. To be told that your son and his peers with autism cannot participate in the school Kindergarten Graduation because they are only allowing students not affected with autism to participate. That's our autism. Reading medical books, online parent forums until 3 AM because your child's pediatrician looks to you for advice. That's our autism. Leaving our jobs, friends, 3,000 sq ft home with in ground pool and garden paradise to relocate over 3,000 miles away into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment for the 5 of us... so our child could attend an autism school. That's our autism. Forget the Master's Degree and answer phones for a living so that I can be available at home during the day hours for him and the hundreds of school/ doctor meetings. If your child is in the mainstream class and you have never been given an official diagnosis of autism- don't throw that around for sympathy. People like that water down the public view of Autism.