I wrote an article about Sesame Street introducing a new character with autism. It made me happy to see a huge corporation take notice of how very different children can be. It brought me hope that we can teach parents and children about autism and learn how to interact for the benefit of humanity. It was a happy post. It made me fell less alone in my families journey through the spectrum. When I went to check the comments that night, I found this.
Pathetic. Celebrating a disorder instead of devoting the time and energy to finding a solution. Autism has become a blanket diagnosis like ADD was before it. Parents of the so called autistic kids are the worst part. Your child isn’t special, doesn’t deserve special treatment, and is sick. Autism isn’t a “different way of looking at the world”. Get a grip on reality.
I never let a comment get under my skin. I write to tell my story, and I am a firm believer in that everyone is entitled to their opinion. This comment however took me by surprise. This one actually shocked me. This made my blood boil. Here is my response to this comment.
What Autism Really IS
Autism is hard.
Autism is sobering.
Autism is all consuming.
Autism is isolating.
Autism is frustrating.
Autism is EVERYWHERE.
Autism can be silent.
Autism can be loud.
Autism can cause so many other disorders.
Autism is REAL.
Autism can be treated.
Autism is hard on a marriage.
Autism is hard for siblings.
Autism will can maker you cry.
Autism will can make you smile.
Autism makes will make you cherish the milestones.
Autism makes you hug longer.
Autism makes you love harder.
Autism has been MY biggest parenting obstacle.
Autism has TAUGHT me more about parenting than any book on the planet.
Autism is a journey.
What Autism Is NOT
Autism does not define my family.
Autism does not define my child.
Autism does not mean I want you to treat me differently.
Autism is not an EXCUSE.
Autism is not a SICKNESS.
Autism is not a crutch.
I will celebrate my autistic child the same way I celebrate my other children. I applaud Sesame Street and every other company who sees the value in spreading information and education rather than hate and ignorance. The grip I have on life may falter, but know that the grip I have on protecting my children and advocating for them is tighter than a drum.