I am the mother of three developmentally disabled boys; each falls at a different place on the Autism Spectrum. This is what I wish others knew.
1. I love my children, very much so. If you watch us together and it appears that I have not connected with my child; please don’t judge me. I have done everything within my power to connect; we have managed to the best of our ability.
2. My child is not spoilt. I do believe in discipline. He also has a serious disability, which makes him appear unruly by choice. This could not be further from the truth most of the time.
3. Yes, my children will talk and even babble while we sit and try to enjoy a nice dinner out of the house. They are not screaming, fighting, or even throwing food. You have no idea how unusual this is. However, I apologize; they do not mean to “ruin” your evening. We are simply trying to enjoy something that every other family in America takes for granted.
4. I am a stay-at-home mom. I often forget that we do not live in a house in a bubble and the rest of the world is able to hear us. I am aware that you are able to hear my boys screaming and throwing massive fits. I am not abusing them; they are simply very upset. You don’t have to believe me on the abuse. If you so choose, you could decide to speak with any of the government agencies we are currently working with; quite a few of whom are in our home on a regular basis.
5. I am also a woman with feelings. I know that the odds of me being able to attend your party or Girls’ Night Out of dinner at AppleBee’s and a movie at Tinseltown are slim. However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to be invited. It’s just a little gesture that shows you haven’t forgotten I exist.
6. Please try to remember that I’ve lost many friends and even some family along the way on this journey that is Autism. When I call you to vent I am not trying to burden you with my life. I simply need a sympathetic or perhaps an empathetic ear to listen, nothing more.
7. In addition, each of my boys also has Sensory Integration Disorder. They either seek out or seek to avoid sensory related things. If these sought after actions results in a trip to the Emergency Room, please do not treat me as if I have Munchausen by Proxy. I also am likely not over-reacting; however, I have to be overly cautious. My boys can’t communicate effectively so it’s best for me to take them in to be sure. Think of how you might feel if you were me and you didn’t check and something was broken or seriously wrong.
8. Above all else, please just try to be supportive. I love my children more than life itself. You don’t have to live my life or agree with my methods but everything I do is for them. A little support and perhaps some love from my friends and family would be nice.
I read this and many points resemble my life… all except 7 because Karan doesn’t have SID although I can completely identify with the author of this post.