If you are an autism parent you have probably been asked some of the stupidest questions.
Things like are you sure he is autistic?
How is he autistic if he does look autistic?
I have to admit my favorite one is..
What is his super power?
The first time someone asked that I was just in shock.. I sat there with my mouth open jaw on the floor and said “I am sorry, What?”
The repeated it. I didn’t get it.
What I did next I have thought over and over in my head.
I said “He is super cute. Does that count?”
Well, he is.
Since then I have come up with many other answers.
I have used a couple.
I think my favorite is “He is great at ignoring stupid people.”
There are so many things I could say.
So very many rude and angry things.
Then one day I realized it wasn’t their fault.
I am to blame. They don’t know better.
Because I was so busy trying to help him fit in, I didn’t spend enough time telling others who he is. I didn’t let the awesomeness that is my amazing son show!
So instead of getting angry at their questions I now make it my goal to teach them. We all need to do this, we all need to teach each other, to teach our kids and their friends.
Even if they don’t get it, try.
In doing this we not only stop the ignorant questions; we also help them accept our kids.
We help them accept the adults they will become.
We say; “Hey he isn’t going to grow out of this.”
He won’t suddenly start playing piano like a virtuoso.
He won’t remember every date and what day it fell on.
He won’t suddenly turn into Rain Man or even a superhero!
For every bad thing that comes with my son’s autism there is at least one equally awesome thing.
He will trust you with his life.
He will make you laugh.
He will hug you when you cry.
He will hold your hand when you are scared.
He will be your most awesome friend ever.
He will love you without hesitation or condition.
He will always do his thing, his way and never expect anything else from you.
Instead of stressing over others ignorance
or giving sarcastic answers (even if it is tempting).
I have made it my goal to teach them.
The only way our autistic kids have even a little chance as adults is if we make damn sure that the world is ready for them.
I can work all my life trying to make him fit into a world that doesn’t understand him.
Or, I can do my darndest to make sure the world knows how very awesome he is.
We have to teach everyone, even our NT kid how amazing different is.
Show the world what different doesn’t mean less.
To stop bullying, ignorance and hate, we have to teach others not to fear different and how to accept it.
So the next time someone asks you one of those stupid questions.
Take a minute to explain, to tell the truth, to be that teacher.
Take time to stop the ignorance, to teach them how wonderful different is and how much better the world is with our kids in it.
The only way to stop bullying and hate is to teach something different.
If our kids have any chance of a happy productive life as adults is to show them how wonderful and amazing life can be when you have someone with autism in it.