This post was originally published at http://julieclarkart.blogspot.com/2012/04/julie-clark-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
Julie Clark to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers: #AutismPositivity2012
Without Asperger’s, I’d be sitting here – or who knows where – with a closed mind and a limited view of pretty much everything related to autism. Before my daughter was born, I had a very restricted understanding of what autism was, let alone knowing it encompasses a spectrum.
My daughter was born with Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and she has changed my life for the better. Also known as the “star” of “Asperger’s in PINK“, she is in the process of touching the lives of many, helping families understand what it means for a young child and her family to walk this path.
Could I sit here and complain about the lack of playdates, or coffees with other moms when she was younger? Or the hash glares and unkind words muttered and uttered about my daughter and her family? Sure. Everyone can complain about anything if they set their minds to it, can’t they? Don’t they?
Heck, my kid can just as easily complain about me. She’s a teen. It’s wired into teen DNA to gripe and want to “fix” mom, isn’t it? Moms have an uncanny ability to embarrass their children in public, simply by saying something along the lines of, “I love you, sweetie pie!”
Especially if the “child” is old enough to drive.
(We’ve all been there in some form or another, haven’t we?)
But Asperger’s is an integral part of my life. It helps me rethink my wording. It causes me to view the world a bit differently. The way my daughter interprets the world around me is fascinating, and her intellect is astounding. If anything, it shows me how important it is to be who we truly are meant to be, as opposed to what “they” (whoever “they” are) tells us who “they” think we should be.
And that, is a good thing.
If you are reading this and wishing you did not have Asperger’s, it’s ok to take time to understand what it all means. But choose to listen to the myriad of voices who also have it, who understand why it can be a positive thing. There are many.
And if you ask my daughter, in particular, if she had the choice, would she remain an Aspie, she would say, “yes”.
Trust me, I have, and that’s what she told me.