Thursday, August 6, 2009
Shiny Happy Mummy
Lately there has been a lot of negative media about autism as a certain group seek to convince the world that someone or something is to "blame" for autism, outside simple apple/tree genetics.
There was an awful recent blog where a woman sought to express her "devastation" that her daughter would never play with Barbies or come and try on clothes in The Gap for fun (or something) because the kid has Aspergers and was more concerned with computers than a plastic anatomically impossible female stereotyping doll. The New York Times also did a bit on a similar theme.
I don't want to engage the haters - I would rather continue on blithely celebrating my kid's diversity and achievements, which are all the greater for the work that goes into getting us there.
Yep, we have the down days. And it is okay to vent a little amongst friends, it is a healthy way to burn up stress and get focused again.
But getting stuck in the phase of wanting to wipe your child's autism out completely (what if you fail, do you then hate your child?) or the phase of constantly wanting to fit them into the wrong shaped box - because that's what your idea of what being a kid is about - that is a road to nowhere fun.
Better to be delighted that they can count to 20 before their 2nd birthday (and saying Mummy will follow eventually) or thrilled that your non-verbal 9 year old can google "Oswald" and sort through the 10,000,000 results for a purple octopus (as opposed to a presidential assassin framed by the FBI)
And absolutely fecking thrilled that you brought into the world a healthy, active and able child.
You see there are many parents out there right now facing into a wait for an operation that their child needs just to take a breath independently, or constantly monitoring their blood sugars and insulin levels, or trying to find a way to help them feed independently, without choking. I think it is insulting to them to wallow in self pity for too long over a bit of autism.
Instead focus on what your child Can do, Does enjoy and try to expand on that to give them the skills to do the rest.
There are some people who will think I am a deluded fool. Cynicism and Misery sometimes pass for intelligence. Well feck em! xx
PS: A student has been in touch who wants to study the positive perceptions of
parents of children with autism and whether these positive perceptions are different in mothers and fathers. She feels that the literature on autism is dominated by stress related topics (!!!) and wants to study something more positive. The outcome of the study could inform family intervention and individual programmes for current and future
parents of children with autism.
If you want to help, please email email@example.com and I will send you the questionaire.
If you are a blogger, please link this post to your blog. Let's spread a little Joy!