I was up late again, unknowingly sucked into reading articles on FB feeds. It only starts with one…which teases about another related one, and so on. I came across a post about an autistic girl who was upset because she thought people say if you have autism, you are bad.
I don’t want to look like I am picking on an autistic child. My intention couldn’t be farther. But, as I read through the post, my heart broke; For my son and….well, me. I know. It sounds weird to say you are concerned for your own self as well as others. It is ok to care about yourself, and it’s easily possible to do so without being selfish.
No matter what I have experienced with my son, I will never say he is a bad person. In fact, I tell him he is a good boy a lot. He isn’t a bad boy. Angry? Yes. Frustrated? Yes. Unsure about any other way to cope? Most likely.
Does he hit me? Yes. Pinch me? Yes. Kick at me? Yes. Does that sound easy to you? It certainly doesn’t feel easy. This sweet girl didn’t understand why parents would say they are hard and didn’t understand why people “locked them up, like in jail”. This stabbed at my heart and where I was initially angry, I just felt like crying. I still kind of do. It really hurts that she would think this way about people like myself, and believe we just don’t care much about our children, let alone love them. It hurts, that her mom didn’t seem to disagree with her.
I can understand how she would get that impression. I don’t blame her for her confusion. I am sad that her mom didn’t seem to understand herself.
Every child is a unique situation, and autism is absolutely no different. Some autistic individuals go on to college and achieve much success. Some are able to live on their own, holding down a basic job. Others…others are like my son, who will likely never be able to live on his own. These are just points on a huge spectrum of situations and abilities.’
Not every child is violent, but there are many who are, and my heart has gone out to the many people of whom I have heard their stories of more than I could have imagined. I think it is a mistake to say that if you don’t like the autism, than you aren’t wholly devoted and in love with your child. All the stories I have heard from some unknowingly resilient people have revealed how much love and determination they have for their child. I would never have thought that any single one of them didn’t love their kids and didn’t give every part of their heart they had to help them.
I am lucky. My son is violent (hard to write that), but toward adults only. I can take him to parks, with the help of an aid in the event he tries to run off, and I don’t worry about him being around other kids. I have heard stories of much more pain-in-love from the storytellers. To say I would do without the hard stuff in no way means I love my son less or that I think he is a bad person. It’s just being honest.
Does this look easy to you?
If this was from my husband, would you blame me for saying my marriage was hard? Would you be surprised if I didn’t? So why is it wrong to say that parenting severe autism is hard?
Now, this was just from a pinch that got just the right part of my arm to make it look a bit worse than it was, but still. I won’t be young forever, and I definitely won’t live forever. And my son will get bigger and stronger. So as hard a journey of my heart as it’s been to come to grips with this, I will have to plan for his future.
But, planning doesn’t mean giving up, or being unloving. It doesn’t mean I would trade my son for anything, even if I knew he would have these issues. But, it really is unfair and cruel for people (not talking about this little girl) to judge others based on only what they know and experience. This happens in everything! I see it in typical parents a plenty. Breast feeding? Kinds of diapers? Work or stay home? Clean or cluttered? Public, private, or home school? Attachment parenting or letting them cry it out (and all the philosophies in between)? time-outs or swats? I am so sick of it all! I am so tired of seeing and reading of parents who tear each other apart. And, for what? To feel better about themselves? That right there shows the problem really lies in the insecurity of the attacker.
I wish more parents would step in and, having done research, teach autism understanding
I want to say again, I have no issue with this little girl. She was innocently speaking from her heart about what she knows. And to her credit, there are many parents who treat their children poorly, tear them down verbally and physically, and label them due to their autism/disability. There are parents out there who just don’t want to spend the effort and instead put their children in care homes. All care homes are not equal, however, more than others are good. So there are situations where autistic individuals are mistreated, mislabeled and misunderstood. But to say that all parents are bad who say this is hard, and that it isn’t fun dealing with this difficult side of autism, isn’t true and very far from fair. This is where her mom should have stepped in and spoke of the love that parents with difficult situations show. She should have herself imagined the patience, resilience, and steadfast love that parents of severe kids have. Every good parent has these qualities, but it hurts when a group of us are made out to be selfish, mean, and unloving. She should have had a more open mind so that she could have explained what is really going on in our lives and hearts.
I love my son dearly, and anyone who knows me would say the same. It is hard, and I won’t apologize for saying that. I hear parents of normal teens say it is hard. Same with toddlers, grade school, and college. Even beyond. I have normal children as well, and I can tell you that it is hard from that angle as well.
How did all of this start??
I don’t know how this push and shove started, but it probably started by one group saying things about an opposite group, out of insecurity, and the other group responded out of hurt, and a back-and-forth or two later, and you have a full out feud. Stick to your own and let others be.
Just remember, “A house divided cannot stand” – Abraham Lincoln and also, Jesus.
I wouldn’t normally show a picture of a bruise because it can look so alarming. But, I felt in this situation, that it needed to be done. Please know that this was one of the biggest ones I have received and those of this size are not common. But on any given day, I will show the proof of multiple pinches. This is hard, but not impossible. And definitely not proof of a bad boy. It’s a good boy. A good boy with a seriously hurting heart that sees no other outlet.
A good boy…A good boy.
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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