First an addendum, now a redux. Sorry.
In my defense, this was going to be part of Saturday’s “Judgments” post, but that post was getting way too long.
“Judgments” ends this way:
“And so that’s it. I’m way, way beyond throwing stones at how anyone else treats autism.”
Which sounds pretty good, as if I’m all warm and fuzzy and “I’m okay, you’re okay.”
That last line, however, was carefully worded.
Here is a comment, written by an autism parent, in response to the CDC’s new estimate that one in 68 United States children is diagnosed with autism:
I’m kinda pleased…. When autism is more prevalent than ‘normalacy’ autism acceptance will be a whole lot easier! As you know, my son has high functioning autism and I don’t believe he needs to be changed or cured at all. Yeah, he sees the world differently, but different isn’t inherently wrong. I appreciate I can’t speak for all kids, but I love my very individual little boy just as he is 🙂
A mother in an on-line ASD-recovery group cross-posted that comment, from another group, with the identifying information removed.
Warning: I am about to be judgmental.
That “kinda pleased” comment is appalling.
I too “love my very individual little boy just as he is.” Indeed, I cannot conceive of anything Martin could do that would make me stop “loving him just has he is.” This extends even to moral culpability: If Martin recovers from autism, then grows up to be a serial killer, or a rapist, or a child abuser, I will be devastated, I will applaud when he is jailed for life, and I will seek help for his sociopathic tendencies. But I will still love him, even as he is.
Autism has no moral component, except perhaps insofar as manmade environmental factors are contributing to the rise in autism rates. In any event, Martin is not culpable. And if I am willing to get past intentional failings, how could autism ever make me reject “my very individual little boy just as he is”?
Loving a child is easy. Accepting a child is easy. As I have written time and again, there are days when I want to give up biomed, homeopathy, special diets, therapies, and everything else we do for Martin. At the lowest points, I want to say, “Martin has autism. I’m going to leave that as it is, and tell the world to accept autism.” I want to do so because that would be easy.
But I don’t. I don’t give up. My son does need to be cured. I would never say, “I don’t believe he needs to be changed or cured [of autism] at all,” any more than I would say, “We’re going to leave the multiple-personality disorder untreated. I love each of his personalities,” or, “Why eliminate psoriasis? I’m fighting for psoriasis acceptance instead.”
I’m way, way beyond throwing stones at how anyone else treats autism.
As for those who hide behind “acceptance” and “awareness,” who advocate “neurodiversity,” who stand by as autism takes over our children, who choose not to treat the condition at all—
For their approach, I have no patience.
I would never tell a parent who refuses to treat autism that she is selling her child short. Telling her that wouldn’t do anything to change her mind, and it might make her feel bad about herself. Instead, I try to lead by example. If asked, I respond that all kids are different, and that our family follows a special diet and biomedical protocol, and that Martin has made tremendous, if slow, improvement. I answer any questions honestly. I smile.
In my head, though, I’m thinking this:
I feel sorry for your child. Healing an immune system is hard work. Accepting autism is a lot more convenient. For you. Your child will have a more difficult life because you’ve chosen the passive path.
Stones be thrown.