Embracing the Mission of Autism 

My younger son was two years old when a team of doctors and psychologists conducted several tests and diagnosed him as "severely autistic." The previous six months we had watched him as he slid away from us and the world. It was hard to believe that this same child had developed normally until the age of 18 months. The day he was diagnosed, in April 1999, we embarked on an intellectual and spiritual journey which has completely defined us at times, and has forced us to renegotiate our system of beliefs.  

As I was groping my way beyond the initial shock of his diagnosis, I began to formulate a plan to fight this thing and win. I took leave from my job and started doing research to learn what had happened to him and how we could fix it. It was the most challenging situation I had experienced in my 15 years of practice, but I knew that with faith nothing was impossible. My plan to "cure" him included several tests. For every test we ran, we found a matching therapy, often with a vested interest in the background. As he went for various therapies, without any success, I realized that I was far too attached to the outcome, to his recovery. Despite chanting many hours a day for his recovery, his condition seemed to be going from bad to worse. I often had negative thoughts and feelings of despair.  

Then I read Vice Pres. Tsuji's guidance on how to cleanse one's life through daimoku. It is wonderfully simple and easy to grasp. He says:  

"Let Nam-myoho-renge-kyo emerge from the depths of your life and circulate that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo throughout your body. You are trying to cleanse every single part of your body with every single daimoku you chant. Actually, you are trying to polish yourself internally. When you are able to get Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to circulate, to reach every single part of your body, you are able to overcome any misdeed you have done or problems you have in your life. When you are able to fill your entire life with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, it will become a magnet to attract all kinds of good fortune." 
I realized that I first had to stop looking at autism as an "illness" that had to be cured. I soon began to realize that it was the most wonderful blessing in disguise. My son's autism was not something that was just going to go away without serving a huge purpose in our lives. By continually applying Mr. Tsuji's guidance to my life, I started paying special attention to the doors that opened in my mind as a result. I reached a new level of inspiration. I realized that it was my kosen-rufu mission to create a medical breakthrough and help thousands of other through this experience.  

Although he continues to receive speech, occupational, behavior, and educational therapies, I have started intensive "Daimoku Therapy" for him, which I believe is the most powerful of all. I pray for him to always be happy. I pray for him to become the top performer in his field or career, working hard for the happiness of others, leading a value creating and fulfilling life. I am sure we will create unbelievable value out of this medical challenge.  

I can already see that my prayers are working. He is indeed the most amazing child I have ever seen! He is loving and affectionate, and is always happy. All kinds of good fortune has also appeared in the form of best therapists and doctors, support from our family, and our insurance company which has agreed to pay all the hefty therapy bills in full!  

I know we have a long way to go. Through this experience, I want to show the way and give hope, courage and strength to all other parents with special children.  

It's been the most fulfilling five years I have lived.