Monday, August 22, 2011

Silencing parents.

Why can't parents of autistic children have an opinion?

This video, made by Autism Speaks, shows the life of several families with autistic children.

It's not fluff, it's not pretty. It's honest. It's the life of many parents of children with autism.

And some groups of autistic adults are upset about it and demanding AS takes it down.

And I don't get it.

Why is it that parents of autistic kids aren't allowed to say their lives are stressful? Why are we not allowed to be upset that our children have a disability and life is hard for them? Why is it not okay that we are sad our kids struggle? Why can't we wish for better by hoping for a cure or treatments to make life easier not for us, but for our child?

No other groups are singled out like autistic children and their parents by the 'adult community'. Think of any other disability: CP, Down's Syndrome, blindness, deafness, physical disability... those parents are allowed to speak up and say 'You know what, life is hard. They're allowed to wish for a cure.

They're not made to feel MORE guilty by even more people.

The adults who can navigate life with small blips speaking for a group who have some major issues is like someone who has to wear a leg brace offended that parents of children in wheelchairs have hope their child will walk.

As a parent of an autistic child, I do wish for better. I wish my son had an easy life. I wish for a cure. I don't care if any adult on the spectrum is interested in taking that magic cure. That doesn't matter - if they don't want to change things, if they're happy the way they are, that's their business. Even if they find the cause and a cure, no one's going to make any adult take it.

I support Autism Speaks video. I think it's real life for many of my fellow autism parents and children, and their story deserves to be told - and publicized - as much as anyone else's does. I encourage both positive and negative stories: here at our house, we dealt with some dark times, and it's encouraging that others have come forward to share that experience so other parents don't feel so isolated and helpless. I also love the good pick-me-up - positive autism stories lift my spirits. There are room for both, and we shouldn't avoid talking about one over the other.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, what you said. I used to hate that video, I used to hate AS but now I realize that it was my way of coping. The hate the anger was just part of my own autism journey. People are entitled to their opinions and if we disagree, that's fine, but there is no need to fight about it.