I think, sometimes, we forget about just how bad it really can be. The first thing you’re told when your child is delayed in speaking is that Einstein didn’t talk until he was 4. Then we hear about other amazing ‘savant’ Autistic people, even watch the Temple Grandin movie and start to think that maybe it’s not such a bad thing.
Then you get out into the Autism community and start talking to other people and even discover people with Autism themselves, discussing, sharing, informing… being involved. Many of whom are very proud of being Autistic actually, they recognize that they’re not less than anyone else, that they actually have advantages even over some people.
When you’re not doing that, you’re doing your own family thing with your own Autism issues and you get excited when your own child hits milestones, reaches achievements and so forth.
You can very easily get lost in it all because those that are unable to speak, those that are unable to leave the house without being in danger, those who have extremely stressful situations at home with their completely out of control children… we don’t get to hear from them. They don’t get the time to join communities or to share experiences. Many of whom don’t even want to share because it’s simply too hard.
I think we can very easily sensationalize the very thing we’re all fighting so very hard against. We get so caught up in all the wonderful news, in all the good that can come of it that we easily forget just how ugly and terrible it can really be. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
I was recently watching twitter and a few sites where people with Autism themselves were expressing how proud they were but more so, going on about how others should be proud, how they are fully capable of everything that anyone else is capable of… and I couldn’t help but wonder how much that would hurt those parents out there who’s children simply never will be capable of much, much less everything that you or I can be.
How hurtful would it be to watch your children hurt themselves and constantly be in a rage… and then hear this person go on and on about how wonderful it is?
I don’t know what I would suggest to either as I certainly would never want to suggest that the person not be proud and not be loud about it. I mean, shout it from the roof tops if you’re capable! It’s truly wonderful.
I guess we just have to be sure that no matter how proud, how happy, how amazing the accomplishment, no matter how sensational it can seem… there is an ugly side. There is a reason that Autism needs to be prevented.
We fight for our children, we fight for ourselves, we fight for those who have yet to be diagnosed… but most importantly, we fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. Those who are either lost within their own minds or too busy doing everything they can for their children that they can’t be out there fighting for everyone else.
When you talk about Autism with someone else, either casually or in the Autism community, remember those people and the people who are happily having children that may soon discover that their lives will be harder than they ever dreamed possible.
They need our support even more than the rest of us, even though their voices may be the quietest.