"It is with sadness that we will have to decline the birthday party invitation for your son," one mother wrote me, "as such short notice was given." I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Again. You see, my son Casey has autism, and I had been busily planning all the arrangements for his seventh birthday party for weeks. I wanted to tell her, in earnest, that I had tried, I really tried, to get it right this time.
I understand why people kill themselves. I think about it every day. That's not an exaggeration. It varies how much I think about it each day, but there hasn't been a day in the last six months that I haven't thought about it, and it's been this way since I was about 10. Very very occasionally I get a day where I'm struggling really bad, but I don't want to be dead. But it's not often.
As a life coach, I work with all sorts of people in their teens and 20s. I learn from all of them. One of my most powerful learning lessons came from a 13-year-old client with Autism, who allowed me to see the dangers of people in power trying to "do the right thing." I am pleased to share with you now the inner workings of one the most interesting minds I have ever met.