Tag Archives: Autism Acceptance

To “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s” – An Open Letter from Forgotten

This post was originally published at http://fairytaleforgotten.blogspot.com/2012/04/to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers_30.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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To “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s” – An Open Letter from Forgotten

Oh, sweetheart. I’m so glad you clicked to here. Please come here and sit by my side and tell me your story. You see I’m an Aspie, too, so I get it. I get how hard it is to communicate with others. I get how frustrating it is to never really know if people are being sincere to you or not. I get how bad you want to scream because people won’t just say what they mean and mean what they say.

I also get why it’s so heartbreaking sometimes to be a parent to a child who struggles with Asperger’s or Autism. I’m a mommy to twin boys who are both at different points on the spectrum, too. These boys and their little sister are the lights of my life.

I know you’re struggling right now. I know you’re looking for answers, maybe even a cure. I make this request of you, please don’t ever wish away a part of yourself. Your Asperger’s makes you unique. It makes you beautiful. It makes you see the world differently than everyone else on the planet. You don’t think like others so you’ll never be “just another fish in the pond”. Your thoughts are valuable. Your point of view is priceless. You are heard.

I’ll be the first to stand up and offer you my hand, or my ear, or my shoulder…whatever you need to make yourself feel supported. We’re out here. We’re parents of others in your situation. We’re people who live with Asperger’s or Autism every day of our lives. We’re siblings of brothers and sisters who are on the spectrum. We’re grandparents of individuals with Asperger’s and Autism. We’re people with success stories to share, with happy memories to make, with dreams we are one step closer to fulfilling every day…we’re people like you.

I know you’re struggling. I know your heart may feel shattered right now. Just please remember that we are here. We are a community of friends online and in real life who will walk with you, cry with you, talk with you, and rejoice with you over victories both big and small. We are open hearts and open minds. Seek us out any time you need us and we will be here.

Please know that it gets better. The world is slowly starting to realize how important it is to know people like us and to understand how to reach and be reached by us. We are gaining acceptance to the outside world but just know that here you are accepted. You are completely accepted. No caveats, no requirements, no “if only’s”. You are accepted and you are welcomed with open arms.

The search that brought you here has brought you to a safe place. It has brought you to a place where you will be heard. It has brought you to a jumping off point to a magnificent community full of people who get it. You can click on any blog link to the right and they will take you to someone else who will accept you and I am adding to this list almost all the time. You are part of a wonderful community that you never knew existed. Stay a while and get to know everyone. Once we get to know you, we will take every opportunity to remind you of just how great you are, Asperger’s and all. I promise. And I don’t break promises. I’m here for you. Just take my hand.

:)

Forgotten

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bowderlp to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

My brother and I would have belonged on the “autism spectrum” if such a thing had been discovered in the 1950’s. He was on the more severe end, having also problems with ADHD, etc. and social and academic difficulties. He disliked school because of teasing and name-calling, and repeating grades. He didn’t learn to read until his 2nd time in 7th grade, when purely by chance he was assigned to a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Reed – (honestly) who took the time to figure out how his way of learning was “different” from the average. Although he is still a terrible speller (has everything proofread by family members), he graduated from Vocational School, and has had a successful career in building and contracting, has been a Volunteer Firefighter and Fire Chief in his town, is a first responder in climbing and ice rescues, and is a free-lance excavator, pole setter, and lighting rigger for large concert venues. He’s been married for 24 years, and has a son who is a robotics ace. Pretty good life for one who started so slowly.

I myself would have been a “high-functioning Asperger’s child.” I loved school, learned to read at age 3 1/2, and despite bouts of extreme shyness, depression, anxiety and panic, (which have never entirely disappeared), made a so-so adjustment to social situations, got good grades, and found my niche in music and education. Aside from stage fright, which prevented any kind of solo or conducting career – (“they have an App for that now”) -I have been a life-long orchestra and band member, taught music for over 40 years (all ages & levels, and 15 years as a teacher of Music History at the University level) with a Master’s Degree in Music, and also earned a Master’s degree in Library Studies. I had a very happy marriage, and am helping to raise my 3 lovely (bonus) grandchildren. My “alter ego” is an outdoorsy person – I love camping, hiking, road trips, and am handing many of these life-skills down to my grandchildren. So, another success story. I hope these will give parents hope for their “different” children.

 

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Angie Norheim (@get2bfit) to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

From Angie Norheim (@get2bfit)

I was diagnosed with aspergers 2002. I struggled throughout college in early 1990s and not sure if warning signs were arriving back then, but I did graduate with a C average. Autistic people, aspies and people with disabilities want respect, acceptance as we are and appreciation for their uniqueness. Though autism and aspergers affect each individual diffrently, I’m still learning what aspergers is… I know what I’ve experienced from it, but doesn’t mean I know what it is. anyhow, I want to be valued for achievements and my struggles because trying new endeavors is better than giving up and I won’t ever give up because I like learning something new every day. Autistic and aspies population like to have the same normal definition as the non-disabled and accept that we are normal in our own individual ways, not by other’s opinions what they think normal is.

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Shelly to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

 

My son is four years old and has autism. He has taught me what love really is. He has taught me patience, empathy, kindness, and selflessness. Autistic people are not judgmental, they rarely lie, and they view the world through logical eyes. Without autistic people we wouldn’t have engineers, scientists, and safety protocol experts. Autistic traits are needed for our society to function. I understand that having autism can be difficult in a world of neurotypicals, but many people are working very hard to spread autism awareness and to teach others to be more mindful of those who have autism. Very soon in the near future everyone will know what autism is and it will no longer matter what the “norm” is. There doesn’t need to be a “norm.” We all just need to be accepting of each other.

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Purple Aspie to I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s Syndrome

This post was originally published at http://purpleaspie.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/purple-aspie-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-syndrome-25/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Purple Aspie to I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s Syndrome

Someone, somewhere out there, is wishing that he/she did not have Asperger’s Syndrome. Whoever you are, or if there is more than one of you, I hope you read some or all of the posts with this subject line to know that you are not alone. I’m sure many of us who have Asperger’s, if not all of us, have, at one point or another, wished we didn’t have Asperger’s Syndrome.

Growing up on the autism spectrum is certainly not easy, and I find myself wondering if you are a teenager. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is without a disability whose most obvious attribute is “difficulty with social skills” to make it harder. If I’d known I had AS when I was a teen, I’d probably have wished like crazy that I didn’t have it. I didn’t want to have anything to make me different, and I was most definitely different.

Today, however, as an adult, I can appreciate my differences. I think differently, and in my opinion that’s a good thing. I can look at situations in a way that non-Aspies can’t. I can solve puzzles that have my non-Aspie friends shaking their heads. I can make friends with almost any animal I meet, even the ones that other people say “He doesn’t like anyone!”

I have hypersensitive hearing, and while sometimes that can make me crazy, at other times it is very, very useful. I can find my cats by listening to them purr. When I do my transcription job, I can hear audio that my co-workers can’t hear. All of my co-workers, even my supervisor, will ask me to listen to things that they can’t hear. When I was waiting for eye surgery to fix my vision problems, I was able to use my hearing to make sure a car wasn’t coming to run me over when I crossed the street, or to find my black cat in the dark by calling her and listening to her meow at me.

I get along amazingly well with children. Even though I have always had a bit of a problem with the concept of “play,” children still approach me and ask me to play with them. People at my church will hand me their babies and say, “Here, hold my baby while I run to the ladies’ room,” or say to their toddler grandchild, “Go sit with Purple Aspie while Grandma goes and gets a cup of tea.” Children seem especially attracted to my purple clothing. I have bonded with many purple-wearing children.

When it comes to absorbing information, we Aspies are very good at it, especially if the subject is one of our special interests. Many people ask me for advice about their cats because they know that cats are one of my special interests. It’s not just my special interests, though; if I want to know about a subject, I get to know that subject inside and out. Ask me a question about something, and if I don’t know the answer now, I will know the answer tomorrow — along with a massive amount of additional information that you didn’t ask me about. In school I was always very good at writing research papers. I can beat almost anyone at a trivia contest, unless the subject is sports. Something I hear quite often is, “How did you know that?” to which my answer will probably be, “Doesn’t everybody?”

Our attention to detail makes us very good at spotting defects and differences. If you’ve ever seen those little pictures that ask you to “spot the differences,” as an Aspie you can probably spot those differences very quickly. If something isn’t working, get an Aspie to look at it; they’ll find what’s wrong with it even if it takes them all night, because Aspies are also very, very focused and dedicated. When I’m working on something, I will work until it is finished. Sometimes I have a problem starting something, but once I’ve started, I’m bound and determined to finish it.

While we Aspies may find it difficult to make friends, we can be very good friends. We don’t expect people to read our minds and guess whether or not something is bothering us. We don’t hide the truth; indeed, we can be brutally honest. If you want an honest opinion on your outfit or your hairstyle, ask an Aspie. We seldom judge people for gender, sexual orientation, religion (or lack of same) or skin colour. I honestly don’t care if you’re male, female, gay, straight, Christian, Atheist, red, green or purple. Okay, I might like you better if you’re purple. As long as you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you in return.

Dear “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s,” do you know any other Aspies? There are many of us out here. If you can’t find any of us in person, look for us in cyberspace. There are many, many autism & Asperger communities online. Go on Twitter and look for the hashtag #asperger. Learn how to be an autism self-advocate at autisticselfadvocacy.org. Join the discussion boards at wrongplanet.net. Go to http://www.inlv.demon.nl/ and sign up for one or more of their Asperger e-mail lists.

Most of all, I want you to know that you are not alone. It can be hard to have Asperger’s, but it does get better. Please reach out and find some of your fellow Aspies. We want to help.

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The Third Glance (@TheThirdGlance) To “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012 FlashBlog

This post was originally published at http://thethirdglance.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-third-glance-thethirdglance-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012-flashblog/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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This post is part of the Autism Positivity Day #AutismPositiity2012 Flash Blog for April 30th, 2012. For more information about the flash blog, and the Autism Positivity Project, and a compilation of many other fantastic posts, please visit autismpositivity.wordpress.com – Thanks!

To the person who typed “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” into a search engine, and to all of those who have felt this way at one point or another,

When I see the words “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s/Autism”, I would love to be able to say “I can only imagine what you’re feeling”… but the truth is, I probably know exactly how you’re feeling. (*gasp* an Autistic person with empathy?!) We live different lives, have different hobbies, interests, families, friends (or lack thereof), and issues. But I, too, have typed similar things into google. At times, I felt lost, dejected, outcast, lonely, and broken. Like no one will ever like me or appreciate me. As if I’m from another planet, and the world is just too confusing for me to follow. I’m surrounded by people who just don’t “get” me, and it can be incredibly isolating. I bet you’ve felt most of these things before, and maybe the event that triggered your googling “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” caused you to feel all of that and more. I’m writing this today, to tell you that you’re not alone. There’s lots of us out there, going through the same thing, all looking for come comfort and understanding.

Having Asperger’s or Autism can be hard. It can be painful. It can be downright depressing. When I was growing up, I didn’t know I was autistic. I just thought there was something wrong with me. That I wasn’t trying hard enough, and that if I just could do better and work harder, the other kids would like me and be nice to me. I thought that my parents would stop abusing me. I wished that I could be just like everybody else, and wished that things would be better. I wished that I could just be like everyone else. I internalized all those negative feelings about myself, and was very unhappy. I didn’t have the word “Asperger’s” in my vocabulary back then, but I’m sure that if I did, I would have used that sentence exactly. Well I’m still Autistic, but things are definitely better. I do have to tell you, though, that the word “Asperger’s” saved my life, because it gave me an understanding of why I didn’t fit with the others, and why I was so out of sync with the rest of the world. More than that, it gave me a way to unlock the tools I needed to function better in the world.

There’s a lot about myself I’d like to change sometimes. I think that’s true for everyone, though, neurotypical or autistic, ablebodied or not, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or anything else.. We all have flaws and difficulties. But we also all have strengths and greatnesses, and there’s also a lot of stuff about myself that I wouldn’t change for the world. I am Autistic, and I see the world differently from most people (quite literally). I hear and see things most people don’t, and have an astute eye for details and continuity. I love to collect and synthesize facts, and I am working on a PhD in the sciences. I’m a good teacher, and want to become a professor – I’m even on the pathway to achieving that goal. When I am working with things that interest me, I am incredibly happy, focused, and skilled. Asperger’s has given me a great set of tools that I can use to make a difference in the world, learn new things, make discoveries, and live a life I enjoy.

Autism and Asperger’s is so often seen as exclusively a bad thing, with people stuck in their own worlds, unable to feel love or joy, or happiness. Unable to communicate, and unable to be “fully human”. This can’t be farther from the truth. And the worst part about it? It’s all perpetuated almost exclusively by a few people who are NOT autistic, and most of them don’t even have autistic family members! Who are they to define us? Far too often, there’s a focus on what Autistic people can’t do. So much that people erase what we CAN. But if you focus on the CAN instead of the CANNOT, you’ll find you are capable of so much more than you realize.

I want you to know that you are NOT broken, you are NOT sub-human, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, and most of all, you are an AMAZING, UNIQUE PERSON, with a distinctive skill-set that will help to make the world a better place. Because of the card you have drawn in life, your life will never be easy. But easy is overrated, and I wouldn’t trade myself for anything.

When I used to think (effectively) “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”, it wasn’t my wish to fundamentally change who I am – I love being Autistic. I love the way that I am able to focus on little details for hours on end. I love the way that I can tell exactly who is walking by a room without ever seeing them. I love that I can become immersed in a topic of interest so completely, that I can become an expert in a matter of days. And I love being the person I am. My wish isn’t that I didn’t have Asperger’s. It is that others would understand that when they slam doors near me, or touch my shoulder unexpectedly, it makes me incredibly miserable. I wish that others would accept that sometimes I rock back and forth or tap my fingers together, because I’m listening to them. I wish that others would acknowledge that when I am conversing with them, my brain is firing at an incredibly fast rate, significantly faster than theirs (from what I can tell), just to attempt to keep up, and that instead of cutting me off or ignoring me, they would listen when I finally have something to say. So no, my wish isn’t that I no longer be Autistic. My wish is that the rest of the world would treat us with the respect that we deserve.

I’ve been thinking (and agonizing) about what I would say in this letter. It’s not my job to change your mind – everyone is allowed their own feelings, especially about themselves. But I do hope that when you read this, you will realize that you are not alone in your struggles, that there are hundreds out there like you, all trying to make our ways in this world, and we are here for you and for each other, to support through the challenges and celebrate the triumphs. I want to leave you with a feeling of hope, with the knowledge that you are a worthwhile person. And the understanding that being Autistic doesn’t take that away from you. In fact, it makes you even more special and needed in this world.

And I also wanted to say “Thank you!” to you, for having the courage to say “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”. Your websearch came to just the right blog, and brought about an amazing event, where hundreds of people have blogged about being the positives of being Autistic. You have brought together an incredibly diverse group of people, both within the blogosphere and outside of it, to tell not only you, but the millions of autistic people out there that they are loved, accepted, and appreciated. You’ve brought together parents, autistic adults, and even autistic kids, to work together to create a positive message. And that is one of the most powerful things that anyone can do. So thank you, for being a catalyst for good. See? You ARE a worthwhile person, not despite your Autism/Asperger’s, but BECAUSE OF IT. :)

So here’s to all of you out there, who may be struggling to fit in to this world that wasn’t meant for those us. And to all of you out there who have found happiness. And to all of the amazing parents, friends, siblings, extended family, staff persons, teachers, and wonderful people who believe in us, and are committed to helping us reach our full potential and to making the world a better place for ALL people who live in it. Because in the end, this isn’t just about Autism. It’s about humanity. It’s about cultivating the respect for and acceptance of diversity that allows everyone the opportunity to live a good, happy, fulfilling life, for whatever that means to them. Thank you for being forces of good in this world.

~E (TheThirdGlance)

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This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue. We are: 30 Days of Autism, Outrunning the Storm, The Third Glance, Aspie Kid, Flappiness Is, Quirky and Laughing, Life on the Spectrum, Fairy Tale Forgotten, The Aspie Side of Life, and Inner Aspie.

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MumtoJ To “I wish I didn’t have aspergers” linking up with #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://mumtoj.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-linking-up-with-autismpositivity2012/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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To “I wish I didn’t have aspergers” linking up with #AutismPositivity2012

 

I wrote a post last year about a conversation I overheard my then 5 yr old had with his Dad……………. He’d told his Dad that he just wanted to be “normal” and didn’t want to have Aspergers anymore. Since then we’ve done lots of work with him trying to explain that nobody is “normal” and everyone’s idea of normal is different but that having Asperger’s Syndrome just makes him that extra bit special.

You see before J I worked with children, I’ve worked with alot of children in different roles, even some special needs children. Every child I’ve worked with has taught me something, some have taught me more than others, however not one of those children have taught me as much as my son. Apart from love, patience, understanding and ofcourse everything there is to know about Mario ;) he’s also taught me that superheroes can come in all shapes and sizes. Yes he’s my Hero.

I don’t have Aspergers but I do have OCD and I know just how hard some simple little things can be but I can’t even begin to imagine how hard everyday can be for him. At 6 he deals with it, he is simply amazing. He’s so incredibly smart too, I look in his eyes and I can see him trying to work things out in his mind. And when he shows emotion, it’s real. So he only really does sad, angry or happy but it’s real. He also struggles to lie, in my eyes that’s a great thing, we’re always honest with each other.  J having Asperger’s Syndrome has taught me to really appreciate the little things in life.

It’s hard because he’s only 6 but we try to explain that Asperger’s Syndrome isn’t who he is but it is a part of him and although some days can be tough we wouldn’t change that part of him or any other part of him because he is who he is and we love him for the being the person that he is.

So to “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers” I’m going to remind you that somewhere out there are people who care about you because you are who you are and Aspergers is just a part of you, it’s not all of you, it’s an extra special part of you. I don’t know if that will make sense to you, I hope it does. Take care x

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Anouschka lives her own life to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://nouske1971.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author. (Links to a Dutch language blog, but post is in English). It also appears at http://aspienouschka.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/aspienouschka-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012/, an English-translated version of the author’s blog.

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To ‘I wish I didn’t have Aspergers’ #AutismPositivity2012

I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers

I wish….I had known I had Aspergers ages ago! It would have made acceptance so much easier. It would have put all the pieces of the puzzle in the right spot a lot earlier on in life. I am 41 now, and only just figuring out what it means to be an ‘Aspie’.

Yes, there are clear downsides to Aspergers….tons of them. But they mean nothing compared to the benefits: my hyperfocus allows me to be good at what I do for a living; my dogged determination helps me to achieve whatever I set my mind to.

As far as the negative aspects go….when you are young, you learn a number of coping mechanisms for your ‘quirks’. Make sure you cultivate them well, they will last you a lifetime.

I’ve learned to shape my life in the way it is easiest to live with AS. That means that I don’t work in an office with colleagues, but all by myself. It means that I don’t go to events where there are large groups of people. It means I use earplugs whenever I feel the noise is getting to me. My best advice to someone who’s learning to live with Aspergers is: make sure your life fits you. Don’t do the things that make you meltdown. Surround yourself with people who are willing to understand you, and help you when you need it. Retreat when you need to. And do the things you really want to do, in your own way.

I’ve been places, I’ve studied in foreign countries, I’ve got a mortgage, I have my own company. All thanks to Aspergers, because that is part of who I am. Not all of it, but an important part of it….

Dutch explanation for my usual readers: Dit is een blog dat ik speciaal schrijf in het kader van http://30daysofautism.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-an-autismpositivity2012-flash-blog-event/

Iemand op dit blog kwam erachter dat er mensen zijn die op google zoeken naar zaken als “genezing Asperger” etc. Om mensen die dergelijke dingen zoeken een hart onder de riem te steken, schrijven veel mensen uit de Asperger-wereld een blog, zodat de volgende persoon die zoekt op google naar ‘I wish I didn’t have Aspergers’ allemaal positieve dingen over Aspergers te lezen krijgt.

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Aspergermoeder to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”: #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://aspergermoeder.blogspot.com/2012/04/aspergermoeder-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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Aspergermoeder to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”: #AutismPositivity2012

We heard your cry for help, for acceptance and for recognition and we are here. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! We know how you feel, we know what you’re going through and we’ve all been there. I’ve been there, I have SO been there, only I didn’t know it was called Asperger’s. For me it was a daily struggle to be normal, to be accepted. Untill I found out I have Asperger’s at the age of 29.

I’ve lived with consciously with Asperger’s for two years now. And eversince I have tried to accept myself and the limits of my body and mind. Of course as a person with autism I have a lot of qualities as do others with or without autism, but I also fight daily against emotional and physical overload. A meltdown is always only one unexpected situation away. When I’m having a meltdown I try to say to myself this phrase that I saw on a calender once: “This too shall pass…”. It isn’t easy and it doesn’t always help, but nowadays I put my energy into accepting myself and try to have selfcompassion instead of trying to fulfill everyone’s expectations.

I’ve felt like a failure and a freak so many years and I still feel like that sometimes. I’ve wished a million times to be ‘normal’, I’ve cried, I’ve prayed, I’ve cursed! But nothing can change the fact that I have Asperger’s, it will never go away.

Now I am leaving ‘normal’ behind. I embrace my quirkiness and so do my loved ones. My family accepts me for who I am, but they don’t always understand me. It can still happen that I hurt them or aggravate them. That pain will always stay, but now I have found comfort and support online in this autism community. I have found help, acceptance, recognition, joy and peace. I wish you may find the same. I wish you will never feel the need again to type in “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers”…

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From The Mom Cave to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s”: #AutismPositivity 2012 Flash Blog

This post was originally published at http://fromthemomcave.blogspot.com/2012/04/dear-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-if-i.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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From The Mom Cave to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s”: #AutismPositivity 2012 Flash Blog

A couple weeks ago, an anonymous person found his way to a blog using the search words, “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s.” Today, the autism community, individually and collectively, is offering a response to this unnamed person.

Dear “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s”:

I don’t know if you are a male or female, minor or adult. I don’t know if you sat down to the computer and typed your query in a moment of strength or of weakness. We are, after all, strangers.

I am the mother of two children with autism.

I told our younger son, king of the search engines, about your recent search and asked him what he thought about it. He said simply, “I’d tell him that I wish I had a laser so that I could zap it out of him.”

Really?

“Well, what about your older brother?” I asked. Our older son is low verbal and more severely affected with autism. “Would you want autism to be zapped out of him also?”

“Yep,” he answered simply. I was sad. I understood, and I was too afraid to ask him if he wanted his own autism zapped away.

Here is my honest answer: if I had that magic laser, I’d zap it out of all of you. I would. In fact, I practically havetried to zap it out of my kids with just about any treatment I could find. That was back in the early days after diagnosis.

I wanted it gone also.

I wanted our kids to sleep. I wanted our older son to talk. I didn’t want any more gastric pain or sensory pain or social anxiety. I didn’t want locks on doors and windows or family arguments or toileting accidents or crippling fear. I didn’t want people to look at our kids strangely any more.

I wanted to be normal.

What is normal, anyway? As I grew more comfortable in my own shoes as a mother to these two special children, I became more certain every day that we created our own definition–and that it wouldn’t happen overnight.

As a mother to two children with autism, I am a spectator to their lives, an advocate when called to duty,and a cheerleader always. I stand in awe of their strength.

To them and to you, I want to say, “Thank you”.

Thank you for not only living your life loudly, but for screaming it from the rooftops so that a generation of medical science, of educators, of neighbors, family members and of friends can learn.

Thank you for leading by example.

Thank you for making your life seen today so that autistic people tomorrow can be better understood.

As a community, we’ve not yet hit our stride. We’re getting there, and often we’re looking to you to blaze the trail.

Thank you. I know that it isn’t easy.

In our house, our quest is to scale those hills to progress each day, even the ones that seem insurmountable. For, really, what other choice is there?

On our way, we lose our footing. We stumble. We fall.

We might even wish that we weren’t on the journey.

But, then we get back up, and we keep moving forward until one day, we can stand at the zenith of our climb where autism no longer defines us but is merely a part of us.

Thank you and thanks to the countless others in the autism community for not giving up on the climb. This is a joint effort, and we all have our place in it. Part of yours was not too long ago when you created a search about not having Asperger’s.

I have empathy for your situation. I have gratitude for your recent efforts, and I have hope for the future.

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This entry was written as part of Autism Positivity Day Flash Blog 2012 and is the FINAL response in the Blogging A to Z April 2012–I promise there are a couple “z” words in there somewhere…

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