I am the mom of an 8 year old son with autism. Being the parent of an autistic child, may sometimes feel like being the parent of a lost child. Autism is a world within itself. I am blessed that my son is able to express love and feel love. He is in intergrated 1st grade, which means he is in class with regular students. My son is considered nonverbal, but we have our own language, I understand him he understands us. I was really apprehensive about allowing him to be intergrated, but its' okay. He is developmental dealyed, so it is a big challenge for him. He has supports to help him through his day. I have been back and forth about this decision, because I only want the best for him, and honestly at times, I don't know. It gets hard at times, but I try not to get discouraged, because I know I am not in this fight alone. Autism affects alot of families, there isn't to many people that aren't affected by it, or know someone who is. Seeing my sons beautiful smile and sweet warm spirit, keeps me going. Alot of parents don't have that, because there are hundreds of childen with autism who exist in their own world. They are unable to understand the concept of love and emotion. I can't even begin to imagine my son not smiling and being happy.The journey ahead is long and challenging, But as long as I have his smile, will be okay!