I don’t want to start with an apology. I don’t think that ever sets the right tone, and perhaps lowers expectations. At the same time, I don’t think we should ever over-promise and under-deliver. So I will simply state that this is my first ever attempt at blogging and leave it at that. Make of that what you will.
Why am I doing this? I am doing this because I believe passionately that our children with autism need to be heard. I am advocating not just for my children, and any children they may have in the future, but for all kids who need a voice. And perhaps for myself, too.
Although my personal journey with autism began when I was born, my advocacy began when my son was born and I had someone to protect and nurture. It is difficult to become a parent and have your hopes that your children will not struggle with the same things you struggled dashed utterly. I grieved for the loss of possibilities, the hope that perhaps my children would have an easier path through the social world than I did. At the same time, however, I have to rejoice in having a better understanding of myself and therefore also of my children, and those who are more like us than the neurotypical crowd who seem to find the social world perhaps not effortless, but at least innate and comprehensible.
I grieve when I read posts by parents about their children who are struggling so much with life and school. I firmly believe that parents are trying to do the right thing by their children, making decisions based on the information they are given, their past experiences and what society expects of them. I think as parents we will do anything we can to alleviate our children’s struggles. We often regret our choices, but we need to forgive ourselves for those. We are perfect humans; we are imperfect beings, and we all make imperfect decisions. The important part of the journey is the repair.
My last thought for today is that we need to think hard about our vision for our children – whose vision is it? Is it ours, our children’s, or society’s? Do we need to encourage them to conform, or can we let them be themselves? I firmly believe that our children are happiest when they are accepted for who they are, are allowed to be themselves, and so are given wings to fly.
I hope you enjoy reading my posts 🙂