Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't Call Them Boys with Aspergers, Call Them Boys

This article originally appeared in amotherworld, June 9, 2010.
"amotherworld is a blog and online magazine for moms, supermoms and everyone in between. it's another world when you're a mom ~ we're all just trying to stay sane as we raise our kids!"


When I was asked to write this article about what our life is like in raising two young men with Aspergers Syndrome, I started to think about just what that meant. What did it mean to raise a child with a disability? The interesting thing I figured out is I actually have no point of reference for raising a child without a disability so the truth is I am not really sure I can answer that question effectively. But I think what I can do is tell you something about my children’s worlds. May be this will help the reader to understand what it means to be completely different than everyone else.

Yes, they are completely different, but you can’t tell by looking at them. There is no outward manifestation of any issues on an ongoing basis. It’s not like they need a wheelchair or walk with a cane or need to carry oxygen with them. Their disability is invisible and when you speak with them, there is no indication that there is anything out of the ordinary. In fact their language capabilities are far beyond that of the average person. So when they get overwhelmed by the sensory input of noise, or smells or even the feel of the clothes on their backs and have a meltdown or become cross for what it seems is no real reason, people just assume that they are for lack of a better word, brats.

You have no idea how many times parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are told that their children are brats. That if they took a firmer hand or were better parents these children wouldn’t behave this way. We are told by total strangers yet, what is wrong with our children and how we should handle a situation that presents itself. I find it so amazing that there are those who would never interfere with anything in another person’s world, but they feel that they can tell you how to raise your child. I have been given more unsolicited advice from the most ignorant of people. Of course, I suppose if they weren’t ignorant then they wouldn’t be butting into someone else’s business. But I digress.  Read more.