This Mother's Day list comes from a wide range of perspectives. From moms of newly-diagnosed kids to moms of adults on the spectrum.
For years, therapists have urged us to encourage more “age-appropriate” interests. We have. But at 21, Mickey is still drawn to Sesame Street characters. His bed is piled with so many plush toys there’s no room to roll over. He sleeps with a large Sponge Bob pillow.
I’ve come to wonder if wanting him to be more age-appropriate says more about our comfort level than about Mickey’s development. Keep reading...
10. Please accept our kids the way that you assume we will accept yours.
9. From onlookers who think I am not addressing my child’s odd behaviors: I ask for a little empathy. Don’t judge. Try to understand that his environment strongly affects him.
8. If you see my son in a grocery store, he may be head nuzzling, chewing on the corner of his shirt, or spinning. He’s anxious. I will not scold him, so please do not look at me as if I should. He can’t help how his body receives stimuli. He is trying to cope with the way his body is affected by his surroundings.
Since I started blogging about my son Quinn and his disability, I knew this day would come. There’s no shortage of trolls on the internet who hide behind the anonymity of a screen name with the intent to be cruel, and I’ve seen their hostility many times before.
I noted your exasperation and said nothing, simply smiling at your playful son. When you looked down at the cashier counter and with a sigh, said,"He's Autistic," my heart broke for you. Because I'VE BEEN THERE, and when I looked squarely at you and said, "My son has Autism. I get it," we locked eyes and you said, "Yeah, I thought there was a connection there." You got it, like we ALL do. Keep reading...
1. Don’t say: “Is your child an artistic or musical genius? What special gifts does your child have?”
We’ve all seen “Rain Man” and know about the extraordinary artistic and musical gifts that some individuals on the autism spectrum possess. But the truth is that most on the spectrum do not have these gifts. In fact, only about 10 percent have savant qualities.
Do say: “How is your child doing?”
To the casual onlooker it was not a remarkable scene. A middle-aged mom trudging through the rain, huge beach bag slung precariously over her shoulder while clutching the hands of a tween and a younger son, heading for the relative paradise of a movie theater overhang. If anyone had cared to look they would have viewed a grim determination in her eyes, a desire to reach her destination etched into the lines on her face. Someone might have wondered why she looked so serious, as it was simply a day at the movies after all. Keep reading...