3 Comments

  1. Stephs Two Girls
    October 30, 2017 @ 8:58 am

    Thank you. You are doing a fab job yourself! Love this, all so true and spot on. We probably carry a heavier burden of guilt than parents of neurotypical children, so its no wonder we look so haggard! And we may joke about being happy we don’t have to do the loud parties, but many of us do really, really want that if we’re truthful I think. We have feelings too :/

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  2. GP
    October 31, 2017 @ 12:15 am

    I think it can be harmful to view autism as a monster living inside of individuals on the autism spectrum. It perpetuates the negative and harmful stigma attached to the diagnosis. I do not want my child to think that there is something less than human about her, and I would not want others to become afraid of people on the spectrum.

    Yes, my daughter’s brain functions differently than the average neurotypical person’s. Yes, the filter through which she perceives the world makes her experience the world much more intensely. Autism affects the language and behavior that gets expressed as a result of this difference in perception and processing. Spoken words may sound robotic, but that’s how some human beings talk. And of course, if they don’t speak, they are not any lesser human beings.

    Our society needs to become more accepting of individuals who do not fit the mold. We as parents must demand that our children be respected the way they are right now. I feel that we all need to stop apologizing to everybody else and demand that individuals on the autism spectrum not be treated like weird, imperfect versions of another being that they could have been.

    Society also needs to stop attaching their neurotypical timelines to individuals on the autism spectrum. There really is no clock that is ticking. We often perceive it that way, but there is not. Neuroplasticity does not stop ay age 7 or 8. If a therapist says that there is an end to neuroplasticity at that age, they need to educate themselves. The brain will continue to develop and mature, and the individual will continue to learn. Does it mean they will not need accomodations? Of course not. Some will have higher support needs than others, but everybody’s timeline is different. My daughter was literally not able to learn certain skills at a younger age (when her peers had already mastered these skills), but a few years later, she would suddenly get it. All she needed was more time.

    On another note, it is so sad that there apparently still are some sources that suggest poor maternal bonding causes autism. So called experts, many decades ago, used to refer to mothers of individuals on the spectrum, as “refrigerator mothers.” In my opinion, that type of notion was and is nothing but harmful, offensive scapegoating. You may want to consider reading Silberman’s book “Neurotribes,” which includes a very thorough, but heartbreaking, historical discussion of autism. It is a tough read, but I feel that I have become a more understanding and effective advocate for my daughter because of it.

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  3. Kim Black
    October 31, 2017 @ 11:19 pm

    My family has been involved with families with autism for years. Autism doesn’t “stand out” to us.

    We were at a huge weekly dinner one night (like 5 different families at the hosts home) and the young lad with autism had a huge melt down because somebody took a phone away from him. His parents and older sibling were mortified and apologized and went home and offered not to come back. The rest of us just treated it as everyday behavior and WE were upset because the family thought it bothered all of us.

    Just last week at the same gathering in the same place the young boy came in the kitchen with us and decorated cupcakes. He squirted icing on his cupcake, ate the icing and squirted more on and on lol. None of us considered his behavior any different than the other kids there.

    My kids are adults now and they don’t see different either. I realize we are the minority and you get looks and stares and judgement like you are terrible parents. I make it a point to tell parents apologizing for their kids that everything is fine. My kids acted Ike turds when they were little.

    Last night the four of us ate at Cracker Barrel. As we were getting ready to leave, an older couple with a man on the spectrum came in to eat. The man was holding a piece of the scraggly kind of yarn in his hand. He was quiet, but I could tell excitement made him flip the string in the air. As we got up to leave I walked past him and he started to flip his string higher in the air. I started to talk to him, but the waitress was taking their order.

    I smiled as I walked on by the table. We had terrible service and not very good food and that man and his security string were the highlight of my meal, because I could tell he was happy! His string was his smile!

    So keep in mind that even though some of us don’t interact or seek you out, it isn’t because we are ignoring or avoiding you, we just see you as part of the daily routine. You are part of our normal! And we walk on by and smile and go about our day as you go about yours!

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