Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Step Away From Autism

This comes from a discussion with autism bloggers. Yes we are real people behind our pages.  The group is made up of parents and autistics.  The topic came up of do you sometimes just get sick of autism.  Not the autism itself just that all attention seems to be on a diagnosis rather than  a person.

Overall response yep.  As I said before we are real people.  We may write about about autism but part of real life is autism is not always center stage.  Sometimes we don't want to talk about autism, sometimes we want to talk about the most recent game, a book we read, what we are doing at work, there is more to us than just being autistic or being a autism parent.  Sometimes you have to step away from the autism and focus on life. 

Autism is the only dx I can think of that makes people stop living. It's not the autism that dose it, it is the person typically parents that fall into this fear trap.  If I had just stopped our lives and avoided doing things and going places because I feared a meltdown how many things would we have missed.  How many parties, shows, movies, sports would have been missed because of a fear.  I'm not saying meltdowns don't happen but I'm not going to avoid life because one might happen.

Let me put this another way.  I also have a child who is a hemophiliac.  If I refused to let him play outside, ride a bike, really just be a kid because he might get cut or scraped what kind of life would he have? A pretty boring one.  So I don't.  A lot like meltdowns we live life and if he happens to get cut or scraped I'll deal with it then.  Sometimes we end up in the ER but that's going to happen time to time its part of being a hemophiliac.

Then there is the whole title thing.  Once you have a dx you become autistic or a autism parent.  The person you were before the dx is still there but it seems like people can't see that person anymore. Everyone wants to over anaylaze what you do.  There must be a reason why?  Yes there is a reason because we like it. You become this walking information booth.  Where conversations may have been about your recent trip before now they are about autism.  Don't get me wrong we love that you want to ask questions and learn, but dose it have to be every conversation. 

Roger says "I'm still the same person as before.  Now we know why I sometimes do things that seem strange, why I get stuck on things, and why I sometimes just don't get it.  Not everything I'm interested in has to do with me being autistic.  Plenty of people without autism like to read and play with Lego's."  What he says is true.  Before the dx his likes were just that likes, now everyone wants to analyze and find some autism connection to his fascination with Dr. Who.  Really people he just like the show.  He doesn't over analyze your obsession with the Kardashians it's just a stupid show you watch. 

Overall what I am saying is step away from the autism dx and see the person.  Ask them about the book they read?  Ask how work is going?  Find out about them as a person.  We will never stop advocating and fighting for what we or our children need, but not everything is a fight.  Yes autism is a integral part of my children but it is not all of them.  Sometimes autism needs to be center stage, but not always.  Live life, have fun, let your kids be kids.  They may just surprise you.  I think Brad Paisley's song says it best "yes I have a hard life but in someways everybody dose."