It took a long time. At one point, I didn’t think it would ever happen. I had been told that my son could not receive First Communion, let alone Confirmation. We were at a Catholic church that had no experience working with an autism child. Luckily, we were only members of that church for a couple years. We had moved into that area in order to provide my son with a better education. It didn’t turn out that way. My family ended up moving back to the little town we lived in when my husband and I were married, and my children were born.
We were once again members of the church that had baptized both of my children. We were once again members of the church that allowed my autistic son into the educational classes. We were once again welcomed into a caring, and supportive community. There was a new educational director, and a new priest. I was worried that they might not be as accepting of my son as their predecessors. I was worried for nothing. They were shocked at how my son was treated at the other church. I was told my son could receive the same sacraments that any other member of the Catholic Church receives.
Last night, one of my proudest moments for my son, I attended his First Communion and Confirmation. Because of his age, he received both sacraments together. It was a beautiful ceremony. My son had a great sponsor. He is with my son’s Boy Scout troop, and was happy and honored to be my son’s sponsor. My parents were there to watch their grandson during this momentous occasion. Towards the end of the mass, when my son was about to go up for his First Communion, I started to cry. I have never cried tears of pure joy. Last night, I was so happy for my son. I cried my first tears of absolute joy.