In the world of autism, I’ve found there to be a myriad of parent types. There are the parents who just want their child to be accepted as they are. There are parents who want their child to be healed. There are parents who refuse to acknowledge their child’s problems. There are parents who are great at intervention and advocating.
I could keep going.
A little while ago, there was a video of a mom that went viral. In the video, she tearfully talks about the struggles she faces with her son who has autism. She also talks about her worries and her grief. It was very moving and I loved her authenticity.
Not everyone loved it though.
In one of the support groups, she was bashed for not accepting her child as he is. This broke my heart, because her grief was ignored.
I think the hardest part of having a child with autism is carrying the grief. Unfortunately, talking about this grief can be labeled taboo. Shouldn’t you love your child just as they are – no strings attached?
I do love my son just as he is.
The problem is that the way he is inhibits his life severely. Imagine never being able to talk. Imagine never hearing your child say “I love you”. Can you? Can you even imagine that? Can you imagine watching your child bite himself until he bleeds?
I recognize that Evan’s autism is more severe than others. For many, autism is a social awkwardness that just needs acceptance. For a few, autism is a nightmare. Calling it a spectrum does not do the disparity justice. In fact, it destroys true advocacy for these children as a whole, because they all need something different.
Someone once said to me that if their child had autism that it wouldn’t change a thing. My response?
Say bad words in my head.
Autism changed everything. It limits us in every area of our life – spiritually, physically, financially. I grieve for these things.
I do not love my son less.
Stop stifling my grief with judgements about my child’s acceptance. No one accepts him or sees his reality more than I do.