My adult daughter was diagnosed with autism. It changed everything.

Meredith Cummings
8 min readApr 1, 2021

Nothing could prepare me for the unplanned beauty and fear of having an adult child diagnosed with autism.

Isabel on The University of Alabama quad (where she attends college) just after the pandemic began.

My daughter, Isabel, and I are out with friends. She is 17 and, unknown to us, a pandemic is barreling toward us from across the ocean. We’re having fun. She’s been accepted to several colleges and I’m looking forward to having an empty nest…

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Meredith Cummings

Freelance journalist, Teaching Assistant Journalism Professor at Lehigh University, Essayist, Book reviewer