‘You Grieve For The Child You Think You’re Gonna Have’

Brenda Yost’s 3-year-old daughter Maisy was only recently diagnosed as autistic. She isn’t speaking yet. She throws tantrums every now and again. She’s smart, and sweet, but “she lives in her own world,” as Brenda puts it.

Autism spectrum disorders are difficult diagnoses to live with. And even after three years, Brenda’s still emotionally raw about the subject.

I’m just now putting together her story for StateImpact Indiana, and I wanted to share this part of my interview with her:

Me: What expectations do you have for your daughter’s future? How do you, talk yourself through that?

Brenda: I don’t have any. I hope and I hope and I hope. Long-term, the prognosis is probably okay.

You reduce your expectations, instead of hoping that she goes to Harvard like her grandma. I’m gonna hope that someday she can graduate high school, maybe go to technical school, maybe go to college, I don’t know. She’s very smart.  She just doesn’t want to talk to anyone. What’s the deal with that? I don’t know. I don’t know.

You grieve. Like you would for the death, a death. You know? The death of a child that you think you’re gonna have.


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