When the evaluator finished telling us that, yes, C definitely had autism, I asked what this meant for his future. She sighed, said that was a common question, and then offered us the best advice we've received so far: "Don't try to predict where your son will be in ten years, one year, or even a month. No one knows, and anyone who tells you they do is lying. These kids can surprise us, both for the better and the worse."
Seems a million years ago that we received this pearl of wisdom, but lately I've needed to remind myself of it a little more than usual. It helps me get through particularly trying moments, those moments when I wonder, "Will it be this way forever?" or, "What will become of my son?"
No one knows, and there's a sort of paradoxical peace to be found in that mystery.