When I wrote, “I Am An Autism Mom,” I alluded to some things going on within the autism community. I wrote that I am an a parent of a child with autism. I don’t have autism. I’m doing the best that I can. What I didn’t write was what led up to that. What’s been going on in the background. I have been attacked on all sides of the autism community. There just is no winning.
If I say: I want my son to have every advantage in life and am getting him therapy to help him reach his goals, I get: “Therapy is abusive. It’s harming the child in the name of treatment” from some autistic adults.
If I say: I like Casey just the way he is. I don’t want to cure his autism, I get: “If you don’t cure your son’s autism, you’re a negligent mother. ” By the likes of John Best Junior and Jenny McCarthy.
If I say: Jenny McCarthy doesn’t speak for me, I get: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re ignorant. You poisoned your child with vaccines!” etc.
If I say ANYTHING about my son’s autism, I’m told that I’m infantizing autism- even though I speak about my son- who IS a child. I’m not speaking for my child. I’m talking my experience of having two kids with disabilities. I write about how I feel about it. And guess what? Sometimes it’s really hard. Somethings it sucks. By saying that, I don’t mean that I hate my child and that I hate autistic adults, as is correlated over and over and over again. It just means that having my son scream for three hours and not be able to get through to him is HARD. This is MY truth. I’m not using my voice to talk over theirs. This is not a competition.
In the past month I’ve been called a bigot, an idiot, abusive, hateful, among other things. For what I’ve said here. For what you read here on this blog. Parents are being vilified for doing ANYTHING. We are made the enemy because we talk about autism, because we have a larger platform. I’m not sure how that’s our faults. They get mad when we write about our experiences as parents of autistic children TO parents of autistic children.
I feel like ANY time I write about autism, I have a big target on my back. I can’t win no matter what I say. I can’t win no matter what I do.
But, all of this is just online. I look at my son. I look at the light in his eyes as he knocks me over with a hug. I laugh at the things he says and marvel at his intelligence. He is kind. He is polite. He cares deeply. He loves hard. I might not get it all right, and there’s a very good chance he’s amazing in spite of me, but at least I know I’m not doing it all wrong. He’s happy. His life is full of joy.
I will continue to write about my experiences. My truth. I will continue to be vilified. Oh well. I know that at the end of the day, my son is happy. And that’s all that matters.