It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do I have to?

No, I havn't been ignoring my four? faithful readers. :) I've been having a lot of trouble getting into blogger, and I'm not sure but I think it might be my lovely dial up connection.

But I'm back! No please, hold the applause. *grin*

So, the title of this post. Do I have to?

Last week I was talking to a woman, a mom at my son's school, who it turns out works with autistic children. At one point in the conversation I started talking about autistic adults, and how much they've helped me. She made a comment a minute later about how nice it was to see a child "come out of that shell" or "join the real world". It made me mad. Damn mad. But ya know what? I just didn't feel like having that conversation on that particular day. I was already emotionally stretched thin. I had already tried to educate her on several other different topics, like eye contact and how autistic kids grow up and learn just as 'regular' kids do.

So I didn't say anything. Good mom, bad advocate? Do we always have to correct every misconception? Offer information on every subject?

In retrospect, I wish I had spoken. This is a woman who's working one on one with a little autistic girl (I'm assuming ABAish stuff) and I really really don't want her to think that this little girl is an empty shell, or lost in a different world.

She's right here in this world, just like you and me, and all of our children.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but many times the professionals working with our children are the ones who understand the least. You probably would have been wasting your breath so I would not beat yourself up about it. I feel your frustration. I got so tired of explaining things to the professionals that were trying to help us. Some people have a different take on it all. I have missed your posts. I am sure you have more readers than you think.

You use a dial up connection? Ugh. I imagine that makes blogging a bit of a chore?

Tue Apr 15, 08:16:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Niksmom said...

Ugh, it's always a fine line between parenting and advocacy...often wavy and blurry in my experience! Perhaps you could diplomatically suggest to her that she might discover that many autistics don't see themselves in that manner --even find it an offensive depiction--- and then offer her a list of some of the websites you enjoy. That way, she can read and determine for herself.

FWIW, if she is a *paid* professional working with autistic kids you might suggest that she read some books like those by Ellen Notbohm? (I find them to be quick reading and are geared toward teachers/providers in terms of "enlightening" them.)

Good luck!

Tue Apr 15, 09:47:00 AM 2008  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...

First - I HATE the would AUTISTIC or ADULT AUTISTICS.. takes away a person's individuality and makes assumptions about them.. which is dangerous and wrong.

Secondly the only professionals that truly view children as individuals are IMO SLP's and OT's... anyone who claims to be an "AUTISM SPECIALIST" has no clue and works with generalities which are dangerous.

I love my OT and SLP (the one the comes to the house, not the school)... I have no use for the rest.


Tue Apr 15, 11:18:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Bonnie D. said...

Do we always have to correct every misconception? Offer information on every subject?

Ya know, no, and I have to say that I was surprised that you would even have to consider setting a professional straight. She should know better. I personally tire of all eyes turning towards me if the subject of Autism comes up. I know a little in general and A LOT about my son, so don't count on me for all the answers.
Your choice not to reply was good, she probably wouldn't have listened anyway, I find that with a lot of professionals!

Thu Apr 17, 10:49:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Club 166 said...

When it's people I will run into over and over again (as it sounds you may with this person), I prefer a "slow but steady" approach.

You've already started by mentioning what you get from adult autistics. This flies in the face of the "empty shell" hypothesis, and serves as a base for you to build on in future conversations.

If you try to correct all of her misconceptions at once she'll most likely shut down. If you give her little bits to chew on each time, maybe she'll eventually come around.


Sat Apr 19, 09:10:00 PM 2008  

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