It’s so easy to miss the target you are shooting for. Perhaps target sounds harsh but the reality is it is a target. The target is the very best outcomes for the autistic children of this world. That they be seen as different not less. That they not be seen to be disordered and diseased. That they not be made to feel they must change and be pretend to be something they are not.
As an autistic adult, a proud autistic adult I want to see that autistic children do not miss out on the best opportunities to reach everything they can be. I want to do my very best to ensure they don’t suffer the bullying and the like that I endured growing up.
As a proud autistic adult I will not stand by and say and do nothing whilst children are terrorized by harmful, abusive, unsafe quack treatments to try to change them into something that they are not.
Sometimes I miss the target. Sometimes I miss it a little sometimes I miss it a lot. Sometimes I cause offence, sometimes I am offended. Sometimes I am downright rude and downright angry. For what I believe are the best of reasons. The protection of and advocacy for autistic children.
Sometimes when we communicate it’s like when one is on the telephone with a crossed line, or perhaps in more modern parlance the wi-fi is not working correctly, the bandwidth is not enough and the lag and latency is causing issues and both
sides of the conversation seem to be talking over each other. In so doing we miss what each other are saying. We catch bits and pieces and we miss bits and pieces and we focus on the little things that don’t matter so much. The things that divide us. Not the things that unite us.
Autism, neurodiversity and neurodivergence and most of all love and care and concern humanity are the things that unite us. United in wanting the very best for autistics young and old. These are the things we should keep in the forefront of our mind as we engage, whether we are autistic person or autism parent, or, indeed, autistic parent.
One thing is true and pure and not negotiable and that is that autistic adults seek to engage autism parents to speak for their children and not against them. They seek to share that lived experience in the hope that it will help the children of the autism parents. I speak for myself purely when I say I do not pretend to or attempt to speak for the children of autism parents. It is not possible for me to do this even if it was my intention.
What I can do is share that lived experience. That lived experience is not the same as anyone else’s but it needs to be said that lived experience will always be a more empathic and sympathetic understanding of what the lived experience of another autistic person is, than it can ever be for any allistic person be they parent, psychologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist, occupational therapist or any therapist.
It makes sense that no parent wants to hear that!
I get that!
It doesn’t change it though, and, it doesn’t mean that I claim to know the child better than the parent. No never could that be. It is just that I as an autistic person have an insight into this autistic way of being that a non autistic person just can’t have. There is nothing superior about it and nothing inferior about allistic being either. It’s different not less. That applies just as much to the allistic as the autistic.
Very easily both the autistic community and the autism parent community get upset with each other. They hurl insults, they block each others, they disparage one another. There is a lot of feeling involved. Emotion runs raw and leaks out in so many ways. Autistics feel their experiences and insights are discarded and disregarded. Parents feel their care, love and acceptance of their children is called into question.
In reality possibly neither of these things are what is going on, but the feelings run raw and strong, feeling are hurt egos are dinted.
What to do?
Let’s grasp together what we have in common. The care, concern, love and protection of the children of our world. Let’s stand in unity in that. Let’s hold that in the forefront of our minds and work together to seek the very best for the kids of our world.
We stand in common. We are all different. Different races, genders, faiths, ages, and worldview, but, we stand in common for the kids.