I read an article today, submitted on Twitter by @angryozcripple (worth the follow, if you're a fellow tweeter), about a mother who had complaints of a beauty pageant awarding her daughter "Best Personality".
Yep, mum was pissed off that her daughter WON "Best Personality". Why? Because her daughter has Autism, so therefore...
Give me a fucking bucket!
What the FUCK is wrong with some parents??? My son has Aspergers (as does my husband), one of my closest friend's son has High Functioning Autism, and another friend's daughter has Autism. Three of the best kids I know. All have lovely personalities.
This type of thinking - that someone with Autism can't possibly have the greatest personality - leads to a more complex situation - that of parents who are trying to "fix" their children when they are diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). They send their kids to therapy for the sole purpose of "fixing" them.
And I want to slap them all, and explain in no uncertain terms, that you can not "fix" ASD. Like it or not, it is there, and it is there for life. It is a part of your child's identity. It is who they are. Trying to fix it is like trying to grow back a limb that was never there to begin with.
My son has therapy. He sees a psychologist, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. They each work on different areas of need. We send him to therapy, not to fix him, but to teach him the skills that he is going to need in order to make the most of life in a society that is not equipped to deal with people with ASD. We are trying to give him the skills he needs. We are NOT trying to inherently "change" him into something he is not. He will never be "better" because there is no "cure".
That is because ASD is a part of who he is. And there is NOTHING fucking wrong with who he is!!! There is nothing fucking wrong with who this girl is either, obviously, and I hope one day her mother can see that.
Is parenting a child with ASD hard? Fucking oath!!! It's fucking exhausting, complicated, and frustrating. Some days it feels like my son and I don't speak the same language in a way that I can't adjust for - meaning that we never really speak the same language, but sometimes I can guess a few phrases and we get by. Other days - not so much. I get that some parents see a cure as the only way "out" or whatever.
On the other hand - there is a lot about parenting a child with ASD that is easier too. For starters, I never had to worry about safety with my son with ASD like I've had to with his accident-prone not afraid of anything brother. Tell my son with ASD that he can't go into that drawer, and he won't go into that drawer. And while he's never been big with cuddles and platitudes - he still loves with all his heart and soul. Of course, I could go on and on and on...
He is not his ASD - but ASD is a part of who he is. It is a part of our kids. Love it. Embrace it. And for fucks sake, stop trying to "fix" it. You're going to fail, and make them miserable while you're doing it. Therapy is a tool, not a cure.
There is nothing "wrong" with having ASD!!! And fuck anyone who thinks there is!!!