Groundhog Day and Autism

(Originally shared last year on 2/1/21.)

I know I share a lot about autism and yes it is probably because we deal with it on a daily basis. I wanted to share the following, not because I feel sorry for myself or because we’re having a harder time than usual dealing with Landon’s disability. I wanted to share it because I think it’s a pretty profound and very good example of how it feels to live with a child with autism. I’ve honestly never heard such a good analogy. The analogy is “having a child with autism is like living in the movie Groundhog Day.”

Awhile back I began reading a book which was recommended to Murry and I called Wrestling With An Angel (Greg Lucas). It is an excellent book written by a police officer who has a severely disabled son. If you are interested in seeing what it really is like living with a child with a disability, this is a great book to read. (Note: This is not a feel good book and kinda heavy, but very authentic and you might need some Kleenex if you do read it.) I guess the Groundhog Day analogy is a bit more light-hearted but super good and true!

A family member sent us the Welcome to Holland Poem awhile back and Murry wrote the following after reading the poem. I thought it was so good!!! Raising a child with autism is almost identical to living in Groundhog Day each and every day. We are so thankful for the encouragement, prayers, help and support we have received along this journey of having a child with a disability.

The following is what Murry wrote:

If you haven’t read WELCOME TO HOLLAND by Emily Perl Kingsley, I encourage you to read the long unabridged version. It is really good. 

However, I would liken our autism experience allegorically (not exactly of course) to Punxsutawney PA… specifically in the movie Groundhog Day. It is never a vacation… Holland or Italy doesn’t exist.  You are there to work. Like in the movie you realize that you were meant to learn that it isn’t about you and your dreams… you were meant to help others.   

Yet, in this world you learn that you will always be stuck in the same day even if you learn your lesson… whatever it is. Lol..  Knowing you will never see Holland or Italy… you are always in Punxsutawney. 

There are a lot of good things. You learn to play piano (or musical chairs), take CPR (literally for your child’s sake), save other people falling from trees (or autism panic and in other dark places)… hoping that you will do your part leading people to Heaven than you otherwise would. 

Also there are great people in Punxsutawney that are loving and helpful. But most of those people don’t know they are in Groundhog Day. Only those who are also living with a child with autism. 

If you know of someone who needs encouragement or someone to talk to please call a Christian who has a child with autism. We have had those people in our lives. They are always encouraging, always finding God in everything, and NOT always having the all answers… but knowing that He does. 

Your friend,

Tiffany

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