You know that old saying about opinions...well, my full moon brain is in full effect and these are the opinions I've been thinking about in the wee am hours.
The whole "would you change your child" thing. Disclaimer: I come from the perspective of a mom to a profoundly gifted, child with Aspergers as well as a cleft lip and palate. Just because my child is on the "high functioning" end of the spectrum does not mean that he does not face challenges and obstacles that often far exceed what I feel like he can handle. Looking back to when Big Brudder was two, my answer probably would have been different. That was a time when he wouldn't eat...for days...I mean days at a time. His meltdowns were hours if not the whole day long. But you know, if I'd had a magic pill and changed him, changed his neurology at that very early point in his development, he wouldn't have some of the best coping skills out there. Due to his cleft lip and palate, my son has had countless surgeries. Several summers ago, he had a hole drilled into his hip where they took bone marrow and injected it into his gum-line. You know what that kid did? He rocked his bone graft like a champ. This kid, he is a survivor. He is a champion of champions. Does he still perveserate on things? Oh, the perveseration that goes on in this house. Between me googling sofas and him asking me every three minutes about something he's focused on, it's a miracle anything really happens around here. Does he still stimm? Like crazy, but he's learning when and where it's acceptable to do so. Does he still meltdown? Honestly, not really. On the very rare occasion, but he has learned to cope and use the skills he's been taught to work his way through. This kid avoids eye contact like the plague, but you know what he taught himself to do when he was three or four years old? Look at people's noses so that he was meeting the social expectation of listening. Two years ago when I was speaking with his principal about an issue that was happening at school, I had a realization. I understood, in that moment, that through the struggle of an awful school year, he had grown by leaps and bounds. This kid is ready for whatever life throws at him. He can handle more than most grownups I know. Does that mean he has friends? Not a real one. He's got a few that tolerate him. Maybe, I would change that for him. I would make kids see him. See past the squawks, see past the awkward gate, see past the inability to hold a real conversation. But, ultimately, he's got this. He's got whatever it is that life throws at him. No changing him. Besides, he is where the unstoppable force and the immovable object meet. No changing him even if I wanted to.
I've also been thinking about intent. So many people get so angry and frustrated (me too) by small things people say or do "to us." Lately, I've been thinking about the intent behind those actions. Surely, you've been given parenting advice. One of my faves was "He'll eat when he's hungry." Yeah, no he won't. That made me so, SO, SO mad. But, should it have? If I had had the clarity to take a step back from those situations, I could have asked myself, "Does this person mean me or my child harm by saying this?" Same goes for the "you can hardly tell he had a cleft." That is said meaning well. And, it means that my kid is gorgeous. Because he is. Along those same lines, a friend of mine blogged the other day (I had also written a FB post about this, so I'm totally not stealing her thunder, but you can go read her blog about it HERE ) is all the "what not to say" open letter type stuff. I get that when people say things, it can be taken a different way than they mean, but let's be honest. If you stop. Really, truly stop and look at the intent behind those words, shouldn't you a. be thankful someone said anything rather than ignore whatever situation you are in? b. be thankful that didn't say eff you, or if they did be thankful they said what they truly meant? I can keep that in mind, unless of course you question my kid's dx. Then, we've got trouble and I might take off my earrings and flip flops. ;-)
Autism and vaccines: Find my thoughts on that click here but not if language offends.
Finally on the autism communities' us vs. them vs. them rife: stop it. Stop it now. Our walk is our walk, your walk is your walk, their walk is their walk. Parenting is hard, typical, ASD, HFA, severe autism and a myriad of other stuffs. No one has the the exclusive on hard. Get over it.
So, now you know my opinions on everything almost under the sun. If you've waded through this, you deserve a treat. Go get you some chocolate or coffee or something.