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I just want people to think for a moment about what it’s like to raise an autistic child. I want you to get down off your high horse for just a moment, and think about how fucking balls-to-the-wall difficult it is.
Every day, I tell my boy that he should be who he is, and he should be proud as fuck of who he is, because ngl, I make fucking AWESOME babies.
And everyone else tells him it’s wrong to be who he is. Let me say that again: every. single. day. he gets the message that the person he is, is wrong. For no reason - other than he doesn’t fit into the mould people expect him to fit. They don’t even stop to consider that who he is is a million times better than that tired, boring old mould. Not because he’s autistic - because he’s the fucking coolest person I have ever met, and I have met a lot of people (of course, autism has made him who he is - but he’s also his own person and I’m telling you now there’s no finer person upon this green earth).
I’m trying to teach a little dude that he is hella fucking rad. I’m trying to show him that it’s okay to be exactly who he is. But I’ve been taught to act as neurotypical as possible, so a lot of the things we both do, I do secretly. I do things because they’re expected of me, even when they feel like something’s tearing inside, and I do them with a smile on my face and a relaxation in my body language that looks utterly genuine through long years of practice. I have to remind myself to be who I am on the outside when he’s around me, so he can see that it’s okay to be autistic. That it’s okay not to put up all those barriers, which are really only there to keep from scaring the normoes.
And let’s not even discuss the time, coming soon now, when I’ll have to admit that yes, there are children just like him, being punished for being who they are. That there are people working to cure him of the person he was born to be.
Parenting an autistic child is fucking hard. You’ve got that right. But it isn’t hard because he makes it hard. It’s hard because everyone else does.
And if you have an autistic child, and you don’t make the above distinction? Then you are a part of the problem.