Standing Up

2014-04-21-feet@2x

I read and answer questions in various autism-related communities. Recently, someone in one of those communities asked me to respond to this question:

What are the goals of the autism acceptance movement?

I don’t consider myself part of any movement, and I don’t have autism myself, but I thought I had something to say on the issue. Here’s how I responded:

“I want help for my son, but I do not want to cure him. I want him to have the same opportunities as his neurotypical twin, but I also respect and appreciate the differences between the two.

“I know some parents of children on the spectrum want to ‘cure’ or ‘recover’ their children, but I also know many parents who have no interest in this approach. Like me, they just want acceptance and acknowledgement. They want communities and systems that are supportive of them and their children.

“Therefore, my part in any kind of movement is to stand up as a parent who accepts his son’s autism, even when it’s challenging, and to state my belief that autism is a distinct neurological condition, not a manmade disease, infection, or form of toxic damage.

“I want to share with others what I believe: that autism has always been with us, and that any increase in numbers is due to a broadening of definitions, greater awareness, and improved early intervention services.”

2 Comments

  1. I would only add that accepting autism, does not mean giving up in any way. We take every opportunity to give our kids all the therapies, support and opportunity to reach his/her potential. It’s doing what you would do with any child – build on strengths, explore interests and help in areas of difficulty.

  2. So well put. As parents we do everything we can to help our children reach their potential, by providing them with every opportunity we can,to explore interests, build on their strengths and provide help for their weaknesses. It is what parents are to do. Period. I feel what you are expressing and understand it completely. Keep commenting!