Saturday, December 12, 2009

Autism, Asperger Syndrome & Absolute Acceptance

I have a link for you. Another mother of a child on the spectrum posted this in a parenting forum. I could kiss her. I do not seem to have the time or the inclination to troll through pages and pages of literature nowadays, but sometimes, when I follow someone else's research, I find gold. This is one of those times.

It is a heartwarming, hand-holding, tear-jerking, hell of a piece. I could have been sitting at that table, I felt like I was home. I also found incredible similarities to my piece written in 2007.

It was especially reassuring to find like-minded parents, mothers and fathers who do not have some insanely driven need to cure their child. This is the way they are. I loved the terminology of this article. My child is definitely a genetic rubik's cube, uniquely scrambled. Suits him and he himself would embrace this explanation.

This excerpt sums up how I think and feel:

And that leads to a bigger issue—one that really burns this group: the implication that accepting your child's autism is not okay. This attitude is due in part, they feel, to Generation Rescue's dominating and oversimplifying the conversation in America about autism. The simple fact is that not all autistic kids can "recover." "We need to reexamine what it means to be a successful adult," says Erin. "To me, now, a successful adult is a functional adult. We need to give these kids an opportunity to have a shot at meaningful jobs and secondary education. Maybe they'll be bagging groceries, but they'll be paying taxes. They'll be law-abiding citizens. It's not just about the money we'd save, it's about the contributions these kids will make that will benefit everyone. I strongly believe that the energy crisis is eventually going to be solved by an autistic 10-year-old boy who is perseverating on batteries. He's got that kind of focus."

At this point, however, society still has a long way to go in terms of tolerating people who behave in unfamiliar ways.

It could not have come at a better time. This week's Who magazine issue (December 21, 2009) contained an interview which really burned me up. Maybe it was a misquote, or the journalist was utilising the magazines trashy reputation for chequebook journalism and decided to misinterpret a comment. I hope this was the case. If not, the fact that one of our once high profile football players, Mat Rogers, states he thinks his son who is diagnosed with ASD:
"will be a normal boy... He will be a normal boy" is horrifying. And if he doesn't conform to Rogers ideal of normalcy? What then? and how do you define normal anyway? I have yet to meet any one I could call normal. Mat Rogers himself would do well to read the linked article, maybe it would make him realise how offensive his comment really was. Not only to other parents of children on the spectrum, but to his own child.

Boy 1 is an incredible person in his own right, and as much as I wish life let him walk this path a little easier, I do not want him to be anyone other than himself! He amazes me with the depth of his wisdom, caring and compassion. He inspires me. I am humbled to be his mother.

Why on earth would you want to alter this? Could YOU look into his eyes and tell HIM he's abnormal...


E. said...

I found that article the other day and really like it. I'm glad Oprah (well most likely her staff) are actaully showing other perspectives rather than just Jenny McCarthy's.

Anonymous said...

I love that article. More people should aspire to be like those parents. I think Jenny McCarthy has done alot of damage in the world of autism. She breeds division and non acceptance.

I defy anyone to tell me my son isn't okay just the way he is (and then I'd wack them one).