Autism: Denial Much?

autism sparkles-33

I had a well meaning teacher once ask if perhaps I wasn’t fully accepting of my boy’s autism.  She wondered if I might still be locked in a small level of denial. She thought I might be setting my expectations too high.  Wanting more of him than he was capable of since he was…well…of course…disabled.  She meant well and I do not fault her for asking.  I adore open and honest conversations.
I understand.
I told her that I fully get that my boy is on the spectrum.  I am not denying that.  In fact, with his quirkies running wide open, there is NO denying that.  But I also told her that I will not stop expecting him to be his very best and I will not stop pushing him further until I see that he has hit his high point.  I can see the spectrum.  I get it and he’s on it.  But what I won’t do is see ONLY the spectrum. What I won’t do is lessen my belief in him because what I see, when I look at my boy, is so much MORE than a disability.

HE is more than autistic.

He is more than those giant six letters.

He is more than the quirks and the funky habits.

He is more than the developmental challenges he struggles with.

He is more than the dismal evals and reports that try to define him on paper.

He is more than simply the confinement of that one word and I will not let any single word define him.

I can see the spectrum in him but I also see an inventor, a teacher, a scientist, and an explorer.  What I see, when I look at my boy, is utter brilliance and I see a boy who is smarter than his NT mom ever was.  I see a boy whose entire life is still a blank canvas that lies before him and I will not let it stand blank or let it be filled with a single or lesser color.  This boy, who so amply shares his view of the world in words and phrases that stun me, will be encouraged to fill his blank canvas with a myriad of brilliant colors and experiences that will transform him into the masterpiece he was destined to be.  I will not expect less of him because six confining letters happen to be written on a doctor’s piece of paper.

Autism is simply one piece of him.  Autism is a single color on a vast canvas.

He is so much more than that one word or one color and I will not, for even one moment, lower my expectations or let it confine or define who he is intended to be.  HE will decide that and I will help him the best I can by not limiting his options and colors and by swinging the doors of his world wide open to uncover every color under the sun because, who he is, is so much bigger than one six letter word.  Autism is a piece of him but I will tell you straight up, right here and now, that I will dig in my heels and push open those doors if I have to because I refuse to let it be all of him.

9 thoughts on “Autism: Denial Much?

  1. Could not have put it better if i wrote it for my boy myself. That part of him is here to stay, so you may as well see the good in your situation as do I with my boy. He actually told me he would not change his autism it is who he is, he might change his anxiety, Tics, compulsive actions or give it to some kids at school for the day to see how they would handle it. He knows having autism means he is tougher than most kids and I have been honest from day one, with my child. it is now something he can use to empower him to say Hey I am different, look what I can do! He told me when he is older he might invent games for other autistic kids.

  2. Beautiful! I was so enlightened one year early in my career when I asked the mother of one of my students (who was on the spectrum) what she hoped for her son, she said ‘ For him to be happy at school’ That is all I needed to hear. For some reason I had complicated things in my own mind, thinking for some reason because of the difficulties he faced with learning, that this would be a long, hard year and I feared not being able to help him. I didn’t realize at that time that I didn’t need to ‘help’ him, I just needed to TEACH him, after all it was my aim to make all of my students HAPPY at school.

    • Oh my…if all teachers were like you, all us mommas would have anxiety levels that were soooo much lower. Bless you, girlie, for all that you do to help our children on their journeys. It is never easy and each child is an original but teachers who see them the way you do make it MUCH better!!

  3. LOVE this! I couldn’t have said this better myself. I know, because I’ve tried many times before to express this thought as well. Thank-you for sharing this 🙂

  4. Beautifully written. Having a son on the spectrum I have encountered similar situation. Autism does not have my child and I refuse to eber let that be the case.

  5. Very well written. Now if we could just get more of the educators to see our kids this way. My son has been very fortunate to have two very special women helping him, a speech therapist and his middle school teacher. As we move on to high school next year, I look forward to my son having broader opportunities to show folks everything he’s made of.

    • Oh, Lillian, we are on the same path. I feel the same way. Middle school is wonderful, everyone is dedicated to my boy BUT…we only have one more year in middle school. I’m bracing myself for high school and HOPING we have teachers who are just as dedicated! Holding my breath, LOL 🙂

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