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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Autism and Asperger's: My Early Days of Denial

One of the reasons I have compassion where little or none is shown from only some parents of children with classic Autism (like me), is this. Because my son and I both have Autism, and many family members openly admit to various degrees of characteristics, it's obvious to me the genetic connection. I don't know a thing about the vaccine idea, because I never had the vaccines. For parents bent on the vaccine idea to even consider that they might be mistaken, means to have to consider it might be genetic. The denial I went through was pretty horrendous. I had a child with severe autism to take care of, fighting the world (who rarely noticed).
      Autism was the enemy in my early days of discovery. To even entertain the idea that they may be exactly what they fight (just like us). Perseverance, black and white thinking..."if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it just may be a duck."  My formal diagnosis was last year, but I've known for 23 years since I heard the word, "Autism." A kid like I was, head banging on the floor, screaming to escape textures, sounds, lights and a tongue chewer/hand flapper. Well, something was up.  My son didn't speak til age 3, and no sentences or calling me, "Mogli." (I guess he liked it better than, "Mom.") until age five. However at 23, after my diagnosis, his vocabulary and expression of emotion with me has multiplied threefold if not more. Personal doubts, fears (read: PRIDE) and all that I had aside, I absolutely had to let my son know the truth. He was never alone in this.
  Do I think every parent of someone with Autism has some degree of Autism or Asperger's themselves? No, but I feel it could help the child and the parent to consider it.
   Short point: To my understanding, anytime I'm talking to an outraged-against-asperger's parent, I always consider it very likely, I'm talking to an Aspie in denial, because of the genetic factor, but even more because they act like me. That means they are going to be as stubborn as I am, and they're going to think they're right. I do not wish them 23 years of it though. It doesn't have to be as hard as I made it. Diagnosis can be a wonderful beginning not just for we who are Aspie parents of Severly Autistic children, but a beginning for the children we all want to help.
  I'd urge all of those with Asperger's to be an example where possible of the peace and kindness we hope to find in the world. Offer an ear where you can to those still choosing the route of suffering like I did for so long, and by your living show them another way. Show them how to live peacefully, even those that are still in so much anger. These same people may one day be the ones, who by your example extend the same compassion to your children and grandchildren.
   Keep passing it on.
tina jones