Friday, 29 April 2011
I spotted this gem in the facebook status update of the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre
So I clicked through to the linked article, and found myself reading through and thinking, agreeing and disagreeing.
Having my boys ‘labelled’ has many practical advantages. They both have statements of special educational need, with detailed recommendations.
I nod and agree with this, having a label helps us to access services and therapy that we would have struggled to get otherwise.
None of these sources of help would have been available to me if the boys had not been formally diagnosed. The label also helps me to explain their behaviour to other people—and to myself.
Yes and Yes! My girls are not ‘naughty’ nor is it ‘bad parenting’, they are simply different and we need to parent them differently.
the suffering of ‘Aspies’ seems to me often greater than that of people with ‘severe’ autism, because they are more painfully aware of their difficulties and differences, and because they are less well tolerated by neurotypicals who feel frustrated that someone with clear speech and signs of good intelligence should behave so bizarrely.
Lord yes! I’ve been guilty of this thinking on occasion about Annie, she is so bright, why can she not just see what is to me so blindingly obvious. I have to remind myself we think differently, reassess how I am approaching the topic and measure the language I am using against her logical thought processes. Not to mention she is only almost 8 years old despite the fact her language far outstrips her age and thus she often appears more mature than she is.
I now had two boys with the same diagnosis who were the opposite of each other in almost every way. It was as if they had looked at the entire range of possible autistic symptoms and agreed to divide them equally between them,
I love this description, it is so very similar to my experience with Annie and Heidi and I am reminded that “If you’ve met one child with Autism, you’ve only met one child with Autism.”
I don’t like to read about autism as a ‘disease’; this implies that it is catchable and curable, instead of innate. Autistic people are not ill, physically or mentally. They often experience physical peculiarities, such as George’s acute hearing, but these can be an advantage as well as a discomfort. Similarly, I don’t like to hear the rise in prevalence described as an ‘autism epidemic’. I don’t like to read of someone ‘suffering’ from autism. I am not saying suffering isn’t involved, but again, the word makes it sound as if autism is something imposed on a potentially ‘normal’ person. Autistic is what my sons are. To describe them, as ‘suffering’ from autism is not so different from describing me as ‘suffering’ from being female.
and I nod my head in agreement. My girls are not lost, they do not need to be rescued, they are not sick, they do not need to be cured, my girls think differently and that is okay.
While I don’t agree with everything written in the linked article I do agree with much of it. Especially the last two sentences. It has certainly provided me with much food for thought about my daughters diagnosis and so I share it with you.
and if you are interested you can read more of Charlotte Moore’s words on Autism here.