My name is Mirabelle Theroux. My mom told me that I am a superhero. I am not like other kids. I have difficulty in making friends, adapting to new situations and I have a color coded wardrobe. Mom told me that I have been a superhero since the age of 4. I was diagnosed with Autism after my teachers complained to my mother that I was not paying attention to my classes, I didn’t know how to read and that I was always fighting with my classmates.
Mother told me I am a superhero after she discovered my knack for drawing. I first drew a picture of my pet Chihuahua. It was a bit life-like. But I am sure I did a great job for a seven year old. My therapist encouraged me to try and broaden my range of subjects. Now, I am a world renowned painter. I paint portraits and landscapes.
My journey wasn’t as easy as it seems. At the little age of four, I was forced to understand the concept of my ability. Mother never made Autism seem as a disorder. It was just a superpower. I had a photographic memory. I could remember anything I wanted to remember. As I grew up, my therapist gave me methods to deal with new and overwhelming situations. She told me to be open to my mother about what I was feeling. If not my mother then some adult that I trusted.
She also told me that I was not alone. Anna Berry, Niam Jain, Maxwell Bitton, even Mozart were all Autistic. She told me to never, ever hesitate in expressing my feelings. To never ever lie about what I was going through. There were people who wanted to help me and to not feel as if I was burdening them.
My greatest supporter was my mother. She is a single mother with a very low income and three jobs. Nevertheless, she found time to help me get through the early stages. She had to face my tantrums in public places, my meltdowns at relative’s houses and yet, she never got angry with me. She was always patient. I knew she was struggling. She was trying to keep herself from feeling ashamed when my episodes took place, but she never made me feel bad for what I had and I love her for that.
As I grew up, I realized that I wasn’t much different from my peers. Just because I wanted my closet color-coded didn’t mean I was abnormal. Some of my peers had an obsession with their shoe alignment, their hairs, their body, their body color, their food and their clothes. There are many people like me out there who have not yet found themselves as I did at the age of 7.
If you are one of those who feel like I do, then remember. You are not alone. You might not have found somebody to confide in but you will. Until then, try journaling your thoughts. It is not childish. It is healthy for your mind, body and soul. I hope you get through this the same way I did.
In the words of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter- “You are as sane as I am.”