Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Practicality: You and Your Child Have A Right to Dream

The following post is in reaction to all the pundits and political profits who like to tell us that the greatness of the United States of America is over. That we as Americans need to be realistic that our century has passed. That we are on the end of our bell curve. That it is other people's time to lead. That we need to step out of the way. To that I say BULLSHIT. The American DREAM is alive and well. It is in the hearts of her people and the hearts of billions around the world who seek the freedoms and the right to dream as any American dreams of their future.

The naysayers and the "realism" crowd of American strength remind of those who would project our ASD children into dark corners and turn them into the outliers of society. The naysayers and "realism" crowd have no more dreams. Well I will not give up mine. Not as an American nor as an autism-warrior-parent. Dreamers always dream...

There is a Jewish song based upon a saying by Theodore Herzel, the founder of modern political Zionism..im tirztu aine zo agadah...."if you will it, it is no dream...." So I will it. My country will find its footing again and my children will have the future of their choice, not a future dictated to them by others.

******

Reality...I used to like that word. It meant you were level headed, down to earth and had your feet flat on the ground. But then you become the parent of a child on the autism spectrum and reality becomes something totally different. I am not talking about the day to day struggles and joys associated with raising ASD kids. I am talking about all those future plans you had for child from the moment that that pregnancy test assured you that "yep, you are pregnant." Sadly the moment you hear those little words, "your child has autism," your brain shuts down the dreams you had for your child and suddenly the world tells you, hey you need to be realistic about their future. You cannot dream anymore.

The first thing the doctors do is temper your hopes. They temper your dreams. They want you to be realistic as to your child's situation and outcome. They want you to give up. They want you to not fight. They tell you that the odds are against your child. I heard those words 16 years ago this month.

To that I say a big whopping BULLSHIT. For once you give up the right to dream for your child, your child has no real future. Dreaming about the future is what gives all of us hope, no matter who we are. Dreams are our fantasies. It is what drives us. It is what makes us human. It is why man went to the moon, and we seek cures for cancer. It is why we sing songs of peace in times of war. It is why we argue, fight, rail against each other. Not because we see no future, but because we want a better future for future generations.

No we don't have to agree, ever. Perhaps that is the American in me knowing that the best thing for the future is the arguments and the discussion and the ability to get up over and over again. To try again. To build again. To not give into failure. Dreams that we can always be better people is why humanity marches on. So why should it be different for our ASD children than for the rest of the world? Well not if I have anything to say about it.
 
I know somewhere in my brain these doctors words about "reality" registered. But my brain was saying my child was gong to have a future when I walked into that doctors office and he will have a future when I walk out. No one was going to take his future from him. It is up to me to make certain that it happens. You know you don't fight the fights that are easy, you fight the fights that are worth fighting.....

Doctors like to tell you to be realistic. Pat you on the head like you are a delusional child when you don't accept their prognosis. It is so important to find a doctor who is on your side or at least won't sabotage you and stand in your way. be an educated consumer. Your child's future depends upon it.

No I did not do anything for the boys alone. You can't. Yes I created for them their own village. This village exists to this day. Good therapists and support are essential. But if you aren't given the support GO out and find it. Demand it. Yes FIRE people if you have to. Embrace that INNER BITCH. You can do this. I know you can. Never give up and never give in...

We often wonder why things happen in our lives and what they truly mean. They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Personally I don't believe that, but I also think that we as human beings are capable of so much more than we ever give ourselves credit. We have the strength to do what needs to be done under the most dire of circumstances. Just remember along the way,  your child and you too, have the human right to dream.

*****

So CM1 has decided that now he doesn't want to go to law school. He wants to study computer science. I found a good program near our house for which he doesn't need an undergrad computer science degree. He wants to create games and animation. He wants to do computer forensics. He wants to use computer science to right the wrongs of society and fight the good fight. This is his DREAM. He has a right to it and you know what,  I am going to make certain that his dream becomes his reality.

The GRE accommodations request has been sent.

I dare anyone to stand in my children's (or the USA's) way......I double-dog dare them.


Until next time,


Elise