New home? My autistic daughter’s stamp of approval.

by Jennifer Dyer

As I have stated, we are moving. It is always stressful to move, but this time around has been particularly difficult because of our autistic daughter. Change is difficult for her, and there are so many considerations in finding a home that affect her. Location and the surrounding schools are only the beginning.

Over the last month we have looked at numerous homes. Each time, I kept Rachel in mind, or at least that’s what I told myself. All I saw were hazards and difficulties. That bathroom is isolated: too much potential for floods. Those hardwoods are close to the bathroom. More flood potential. That one has a pool. Yes, Rachel loves to swim and it calms her down, but she will be wanting to swim all hours of the day and night all during the year. It won’t be safe, especially with how easily she figures out things like fence locks. That one didn’t have an office with a door so hubby can work. That one had too much yard work, this one doesn’t have enough of a fence. Rachel won’t be safe. On and on…blah, blah, blah.

We were having no luck. When I looked at why, I saw that I was being stubborn. After disliking several things about our last two homes, both of which we took a loss on when we sold, I wanted something better, fancier, and with a better resale potential. I wanted an investment on the golf course that looked as though it just came out of a magazine. And those pesky things called reality and budget just wouldn’t let me have my way.

There was one house hubby kept bringing up, but I didn’t like it. It seemed like a plain, cookie cutter home with dated fixtures. A bit expensive for what it offered, at least in my opinion. Plus, it seemed like too much to clean.

But after a month of fruitless searching, I finally agreed to see it with new eyes. At first, I just looked around and saw projects that would make it more magazine worthy. I needed to change this, and this, and this…

But then Rachel walked in. Her eyes lit up as she took in the big staircase. She darted upstairs and did a big dance on the landing. She rushed from window to window, squealing with delight. She sashayed into a bedroom and took her dress off, a sure sign she felt at home. Then she ran to the potty to start flushing–checking out the plumbing is another sign she is getting comfortable. With sister and cousins in tow, she ran down the stairs and hid in the closet below the staircase. Then back upstairs to squeal some more.

The other kids loved it too. I tried to see it through their eyes. They didn’t care about the counter tops or light fixtures. All they saw was room to roam and neighborhood kids outside to play with. Places to hide, and carpet to roll on. In other words, I wanted a snooty, upgraded little magazine showplace, which we were never going to find, especially in our price range. I had lost sight of what we needed: a family home where people could gather and play and feel at home.

Silly of me, I know, but I decided to get over myself and my magazine dreams. I couldn’t afford them anyway. Even if I could, I’m not sure it would be the best place for me. Once again, God will land us in a neighborhood that will be a great place to live and get to know others.

May your house be filled with fun and laughter.

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3 thoughts on “New home? My autistic daughter’s stamp of approval.

  1. When you accepted this house for its imperfectness with possibility, you have set up a model for how I think God considers humans.

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