Photo by aurorabunny
If you have a child with autism or follow the issues at all, you know all about the celebrities, the vaccines and the environmental factors. But unless you've been in some of the group discussions here at CafeMom, you might not know everything that goes on behind the scenes.
Not all moms of autistic children agree on the right way to feel about it. Many argue strongly that a child's autism should be accepted and embraced -- thought of as just another personality trait to love. Gina Gallagher, mom blogger of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid, certainly feels this way.
But in an effort to better understand autism and all the emotions behind it, here's aurorabunny, mom of a 2 year old on the severe end of the spectrum, with the opposite point-of-view:
"I Feel Like an Outcast"
"Autism is awesome! Autism acceptance now! Autism is a blessing, not a disability! Common sentiments on CafeMom that have caused me to feel like an outcast because I simply do not share them.
"I've been accused of being embarrassed of my child, of being an unworthy parent, and that my child's life will be miserable if I don't join the "AUTISM RULES!" bandwagon.
"When my son was 6 months old, I couldn't wait for him to get bigger. We would take day trips to the zoo, have lunch together, and he would ask me a million questions that, while sometimes annoying, would also make me swoon in awe at the brilliance of childhood.
"But our lives now couldn't be further from those plans or further from how I had pictured it."
"Our days now are filled with therapy sessions (more aptly called, "screaming sessions"), five days per week. New places cause my son to shut down; the noises and lights hurt his ears and eyes. Even walking into a grocery store can cause him to start screaming while frantically waving to indicate that he wants to go bye-bye. Needless to say, we don't get invited to play dates.
"I've never confessed this, but sometimes during a therapy session I will sneak into the bathroom and dab at my eyes for a moment. Not so much out of grief, or anything like that, but more out of anger and frustration oddly mixed with pride.
"Anger and frustration that my almost 3 year old has just had to use his full concentration and energy to form a "MA" sound that most kids are making at 10 months old. Pride of course that he has done it and that he gives his all even when I know that it hurts. But most of all that feeling that has been familiar to all of us since we ourselves were toddlers 'This just isn't FAIR.'
"Autism is the reason that my son bangs his head until it is black and blue, hits himself and pulls his own hair. Autism is the reason he spins in the corner of the room instead of playing with the other children, even though I can see in his eyes that he wants to. Autism is why my son will probably never have a brother or a sister, even though I had originally wanted him to.
"So how am I supposed to love autism? Further more, why would I want to?"
"I'm Blessed to Have Him"
"Of course, I think I have a pretty special kid. While I don't feel blessed by autism, I DO feel blessed to have him. I would never trade my child for anything, autism or not.
"He's smart, a hard worker and has the BEST sense of humor. I know this is our path in life and I will do my best to give him the best possible life or die trying. I'm spending every dollar that my husband and I will ever have to send him the best school in our area that can meet his special needs.
"I used to despise those moms that made those "Autism is Awesome" comments to me. However, I don't feel this way anymore. I remind myself that all of us with special needs children face similar difficulties, no matter the severity. We all have days where we feel like no one could possibly understand, and most importantly of all, that we all are doing what we feel is best for our children because we love them so very much.
"While I still won't agree that autism is "awesome," I truly believe that our special children and you, their mothers, who work your butts off tirelessly for them day in and day out, ARE awesome. My hat is off this month and always to other mothers of our children on the spectrum."
Do you agree with aurorabunny or do you feel differently?
Visit these popular groups: Autism/Asperger's/PDD Awareness, Autism, Mercury Poisoning and Everything in between and Parenting Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.