If anyone ever wondered how much we can evolve on the journey of parenting, you could ask my Spiderman, who once told The Rock Star, "You'd better appreciate our mother because that is NOT the same woman who raised me!!"
We get better as we go. Or tired. Or lazy. Let's stick with better😂😂😂
It is no different with how we approach our lives with autistic children. All the things we once KNEW to be true can change, over time. We learn and we realize, what seemed so important in the beginning, turns out to mean very little, in the grand scheme of things. We want them to make eye contact and to speak and to sit still at the dinner table and to keep their pants on. We want them to read and to write and to understand the concept of money. Some of those things may be achieved. And maybe not. Some of the things they do, or do not achieve will drastically impact the life we planned, but over time, we start to realize, "HOLY CRAP!! Look at us, still living!" And when we accept that we can go on living, with or without the things we thought were so important, we also realize, we can live HAPPILY. And most importantly, so can our kids.
It is not my delusion that some families don't face incredible challenges, especially when a child is unable to verbally communicate, and may exhibit challenging behaviors. But keep in mind, those issues are most challenging to the child, first. And don't forget, behavior is communication. Our greatest challenge may be in trying to figure out what a child is trying to communicate. It may take an awful lot of investigative work, but these kids we love are worth the investment. It would be helpful if some of the medical and educational professionals could steer us in the right direction, but too many of them are too stuck in what they read in a book, to think outside the concept of pushing that square peg into the round hole and consider, we should be following the lead of the child. I'm not suggesting we let the kids run wild through the streets, but when our greatest efforts are met with the greatest opposition, let's leave no stone unturned, in determing why, and which efforts we should abandon, altogether.
Once we, as parents and family members fully understand that with the proper supports and gentle encouragement, our kids can make progress and be happy, only then can we attempt to make the world more "aware".
The world is aware of autism. It's April, and everywhere you go, there are puzzle pieces and blue light bulbs and rainbows and butterflies and infinity symbols and whateverthefrig anyone needs to slap in the window or on the bumper of a car, to say, "I am autism aware".
Great. Let me get you a cookie.
But is the world aware of AUTISTICS?
The conversation is always focused on AUTISM.
What causes it?
How do we fix it?
Can we prevent it?
What causes it?
Which therapy is best?
Is it hereditary?
How many kids will be diagnosed with autism THIS year?
For the love of Pete, does anybody know what causes it?
And while the very AWARE world is busy raising and spending all this money to answer all those questions, all the decision making noses are too deep in reading all the studies to realize,
HEY, PROFESSOR DUMBSHIT!! We have millions of autistic people ALREADY HERE who could use a little help!!!
If you want to be REALLY aware, let's talk about:
What happens to my fully dependent kid when I'm dead?
How do we encourage and prepare our kids for the greatest possible independence?
How do we provide better job opportunities for autistic adults?
How do we create full time job opportunities for parents who must be full time caregivers?
How do we keep our kids safe?
How can we provide education programs that embrace and support neurodiversity?
If you have never considered any of those challenges, do not tell me you are aware, and kindly shove that puzzle piece up your ass.
There are some, who would suggest, investing in the lives of autistic people will not bring a return on the investment because some autistic folks will not progress to the point of making contributions to society. I would strongly beg to differ. My son may never become a disease curing doctor, or life saving first responder, or a society healing civil rights attorney, but he makes me a better person, every day. He is the reason his siblings are empathetic and compassionate. He is the reason every one of my daughter's friends is more kind to the kids at school who are not in the "popular" crowd. He has a positive impact on every life he touches. And he is happy. He is full of love and he is happy. Happiness has to be a quantifying factor in the value of someone's life.
I think we've established the "awareness" of autism. If you really want to make a positive contribution, try being AUTISTIC aware. Be aware of the autistic people you know. Invite them. Include them. Visit them. Offer help. Support their efforts to encourage greater understanding. Listen. Be a friend. Until you can take one small step toward achieving any of those efforts, you are not aware. And holy crap, we have so much work to do.
found @ 73 likes ON 2019-04-17 15:15:10 BY ME.ME