But I'm not. Why? Well because I am an avid reader of other blogs and a lot of times my ideas and inspiration strike from a thought provoking post by one of them. Today it was this one. Heartbreaking, especially to one mother of a child on the spectrum to another.
See, I have this great fear. It may well be an unrealised concern, but it is something that keeps me awake at night. You see, my oldest son has Asperger Syndrome. He is thirteen. And in my eyes he is something of a legend. If you are a regular here you will know what a big heart and amazing depth my oldest has. He inspires most who get to know him, he makes my heart fill with pride. He is generous, loving, articulate, confident, happy, intelligent... just all round amazing really.
To think that someone who does not know him may well take one look at his diagnosis or label and presume to be able to categorise and judge him scares me senseless. And people do. So-called experts do. Other children do. And with their judgements come assumptions, and interferring and demoralising. My fear is that some ignorant person will undermine all the positiveness we have encouraged, pushed and persistently re-inforced in my child. The pack mentality people - "seen one, seen 'em all."
You know what? EVERY ONE OF THESE KIDS ARE INDIVIDUALS. They can no more be boxed or grouped or even taught or dealt with the same way than ANY OTHER CHILD. They are unique - every single one of them.
Do not assume because you read or train or know Joe Blow's second cousin down the road who may be ASD, or was it ADD... DO NOT DARE TO PRESUME YOU KNOW EVERY KID WITH AN ASD DIAGNOSIS. Because you do not. I do not. What works for my child could well not be the way for another, in fact it may be the worst thing for another. All I can do is tell you about my son, how he is, what helps him, and maybe, just maybe you can take some of it and see if it works for another. Same as I listen and learn and take from others what I think will work for my child. But there is also a lot I disregard because it will not.
All I can say to you all is to follow your gut. Whatever your mother/father/sibling instinct tells you to do - go with it.
We did. Or more to the point, I did and the rest just trusted me. I fought against specialists, educators, other parents, you name them, I probably pissed them off.
And it worked. It helped him - MY CHILD - and in some small way contributed to the glorious young man in our lives today.
Seriously - who else will know these amazing kids as well as their own families, eh?
Oh, and I'll give the last word to my glorious child.
Four years old and seriously aware of how others treated him he had a dream, a bad dream, a nightmare: "Mum, I was in this box and I didn't fit but the teacher kept pushing me in and closing the top. But I didn't fit!"