Thursday, January 1, 2009

Acceptance is not giving up.

Parents who are focused on curing their children of autism will continue to hear "acceptance" as "giving up.” I’m realistic: these things take time. The proven cause and cure will not come during my son’s childhood, and probably not his lifetime. Curing or “recovering” him with special diets, supplements, and dangerous treatments such as chelation or hyperbaric are pipe dreams. People do these things, see improvements that would have happened anyway, and think one has to do with the other.

I put my energy on improving his quality of life instead of chasing pipe dreams and to love my son for what he is. How is that “giving up?”

Family members who saw my son over the holidays after not seeing him for a year were AMAZED at his gains. He's calmer, his speech is much more interactive, and he comes up with original thoughts. What did we do different this past year? We did NOTHING, except to take him off the anti-anxiety and mood-stabilizing medications. He was taken off for reasons having to do with coordinating and agreeing with my ex-spouse and his household, but I had suspected the meds were not helping, anyway. The appointments and the side effects were sure a major source of stress I’m now happy to live without.

At one time I was sure the meds were making a big difference. If I'd had him on the Gluten-Free diet and saw the gains we saw this summer I would have probably been convinced THAT was working. (Yes, we've tried it -- and saw no results). If we'd been in denial enough to subject him to hyperbaric I might right now be extolling the virtues of that. And so on.

I know parents who throw everything but the kitchen sink at their kid and tell parents of newly diagnosed kids that if they aren't doing the same, they're bad parents. They use heroic phrases like "never give up!" and "do all you can!" to justify their cruelty. It’s a new twist on the one-upmanship parents have been doing since someone’s Junior Caveman grunted at an earlier age than someone else’s precious little Morg III.

WHO REALLY is all that trumpeting and cheerleading for? Are these so-called “Autism Warrior Mothers” really doing all this crazy stuff for their children’s benefit? If they loved their children so much, why do they so desperately want to change them?


MomtoTom said...

Amen!!! Thank you for your wise comments.


Maddy said...

Indeed. But I take my hat off to you doing it on your own. I used to be a single divorced parent with one typically developing girl [although I was also a lot younger then, it's no walk in the park]
Best wishes