The day my parents were told I had autism was one of the scariest days of their lives. NOT because I wasn’t capable of doing amazing things in this world, but because of the uncertainty that an autism diagnosis brings to families.

My journey with autism started when I was 2.5.  I was nonverbal. There was no explanation why I hadn’t spoken yet.  Some of my earliest memories are of my parents trying to get me diagnosed.

While my parents took the initiative to find out more about what was going on with me, I would lash out because I couldn’t communicate my needs to my family and friends. Coupled with the onset of extreme sensory issues it was one of the scarier times of my life.

I look back at that kid, completely terrified of where the world was going to take him. For so long I thought about what that experience meant to me, I rarely thought of what it meant to my parents. My parents, knowing them now for 28 years of my life, I can tell you that they’ve loved me unconditionally every single day of my life.

Looking back now there is something I wish I could have told them. While I lashed out when someone would try to touch me or when it started raining, and I felt the water on my skin, I’d act out, most of the time towards my parents.

I wish just once while this was happening, I could have said to my parents these three simple words…

“I love you.”

Today, because of my parent’s love for me, I’ve been able to overcome most of my sensory issues. I no longer have any sensory overloads, and I travel across the country as a national motivational speaker who hopes to one day learn a second language to boot.

Now when I think of my childhood, I thank them for everything they’ve done and continue to do for my life. Their love has made me a better and stronger person today who has made me be able to not only tell them how much I love them but countless times how much I love my family and friends.

My one hope in the future is to start a family where I can tell them these exact same words every single day.

For those reading this I hope you know about the impact you have in your child’s development. You are their best advocates. Tell them how much you love them everyday single day because as we learn more about autism and help provide supports for these individuals, they will all get to tell their loved that’s that they love you too.