I must speak to dozens of parents (mainly mums) with autistic children online and its brilliant, sanity saving even. I can totally understand how people years ago must have felt isolated and outcast. If it wasn’t for the Internet I wouldn’t know any real life parents of autistic children. Whatever the stats 1/88 1/100 that’s a lot of children and parents to know before you meet someone facing the same difficulties as yourself. In some places that’s your child’s whole school, or your whole town and in that situation you are alone.
Thanks to this amazing online community I have accessed so many resources I never knew existed and just chatted, ranted and laughed when necessary.
Autism to us is just a way of life, it’s so ‘normal’ I sometimes think its almost common as most people I speak to are affected by it. However we then go somewhere and a child has a melt down and the starers creep forward, pointing and judging. Personally when my daughter gets into a state I don’t have time to worry what these people think so unless they actually say something negative to me, they don’t exist. At these times you realize that autism isn’t the norm, it’s not understood and without making our children wear armbands pointing out their autism people will always judge. I don’t like the idea of making my daughter wear a label and I think we can see that historically the idea of making certain people publicly declare themselves through badges or armbands is bad one. Why should I let everyone know my daughter has autism so they don’t feel uncomfortable if she freaks out or displays unusual behavior?
I think Annoying Mummy (who’s been mentioned on my blog once or twice before) may have shot me one less disapproving glance or been less quick to whip her daughter away from mine if she knew about her autism rather than her ‘naughtiness’ or my bad parenting. So what? I don’t want people to let their children play with mine out of sympathy because quite frankly my daughter couldn’t care less! Until we get to a stage where it bothers her, or indeed her brother neither will I.
NB Annoying Mummy is not a trademarked term, I’ll let you use it for anyone who just pisses you off.