Friday, December 3, 2010

Whose Reality is it, Anyway?

First read this article in yesterday's NY Times parenting blog
Then look at the comment below, which was what I posted in reply:

I am an adult with Asperger's Syndrome. I am also the mother of a severely language-delayed autistic six-year-old. No one's life is perfect, certainly not mine or my son's, but the mother who described the nightmare of raising an a child with Aspergers syndrome did not resonate with me on any level at all.
Although my own autism sometimes makes it difficult for me to understand other people's perspective, I can still see that this mother and I have something in common. I too have days filled with frustration., but the source of my frustration seems qualitatively and quantitatively different.
Appropriate services weren't available at all during my childhood, and even now they are hard to come by, and expensive. That is frustrating.  Typically developing people don't always  understand my son's perspective or even mine, though I can explain my worldview and he can't verbalize his yet. That's frustrating too.
Yes, overall, theres no doubt that some days I feel that it's just not fair--not that we have a lifelong neurological condition that presents many challanges--but that we are neurologically outnumbered ,and the nonautistic majority rules. That's frustrating; life is hard for anyone who stands on the outside looking in.
But nightmarish? No. My son and I are surrounded by people who love us. And everytime we encounter someone who doesn't understand, we have an opportunity to help them understand. In fact I know several people who have decided to persue a career teaching autistic children after simply meeting my son. I am inexpressibly proud of him for thatI, though I'm not sure he understands the impact his life has already had. Both our lives have great purpose for that reason, I certainly feel blessed.
 I guess it all depends on your point of view, one mother's "sugar-coated words" can be another mother's naturally sweet reality.
Carol Greenburg
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Please check out my company Facebook page, Brooklyn Special Needs Consulting

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