The answer is yes. I was thinking about this today. Every single part of our life is impacted/affected by autism.
Our extracurricular activities (pretty much non-existent), our finances (have to be a on a strict budget to pay for all of Noah's therapy), our food choices (can't let Noah watch us eat gluten and dairy foods), our relationships (marriage strained, no time for friends, local family not very supportive).... our days are governed in many ways by autism. We can't just relax like a typical family...go to church, go out to dinner, watch movies, enjoy shopping because our son has difficulty with these things. When we are home we are supposed to spend every waking hour with him- engaging him, playing with him appropriately, redirecting his autistic behaviors, not allowing him to stim for too long... making every single minute educational for him. A typical toddler is learning from people naturally. Noah does not. He does not have any internal desire to look at our actions or faces. He is often in his own little world and we must constantly bring him out of this world and keep him here with us. It is exhausting to be honest with you. But, what is the other option???
So, I look forward to the day where I can say my life isn't controlled by autism- I am not sure when or how this will happen. I am praying for a miracle- I am praying for complete healing for our child. I am praying for recovery. Maybe one day, Autism will be a distant memory... a horribly sad, difficult time we went through. And if for some reason God does not allow full healing or recovery for little Noah, I pray to God that He helps us learn how to live our lives in spite of this diagnosis. I pray that we don't lose ourselves, our dreams, our marriage, our health and finances to this disorder. I don't want to be another statistic. I want to rise above this diagnosis and live life victoriously. This is my prayer.