10/21/2014 03:05 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2014

Dear Normal

Shanell Mouland

Dear Normal,

You're fickle, aren't you? Ever since Kate's diagnosis, I can't really find you.

I see snippets of you here and there.

Every day I interact with this side of you or that side of you. The quirky side of you is the easiest to find, but the real, true version of you is as elusive as sleep these days.

Did you ever exist? I used to be so sure.

In autism terms we call you "neurotypical" now. We even call people who supposedly exude you, "NT's".

I would have considered myself neurotypical a few short years ago. It seems bizarre to even make that assumption now.

For starters, I write letters to inanimate objects like my ceiling (coming soon) and to so-called neurologies, like "Normal."

Furthermore, in the four short years I have known Kate, I have decided that "normal" isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Did you know that I once had the following conversation with a medical professional that had the power to decide if my Kate was "normal" or not?

Medical Professional: Does she flap her hands?

Me: Only when she is really excited. In fact, just yesterday I brought home a new Ninja Turtle for her and...

Rudely cut off by Medical Professional: "We are going to need to make her stop doing that."

Me: Why?

MP: It isn't normal development for her stage of life.

Me: So.

MP: She'll stand out.

Me: I don't care. It is the way she expresses happiness. I will never try and take it away from her.

MP: (Coldly) That is your decision.

Me: Damn right, it is.

I think I am done looking for you, Normal. So, go off and spend time with Average and Boring, where you belong.


Kate's Mom