“I’m sorry” ? Don’t be…

1 Jun

Another autism mom shared a story via facebook today of telling someone her son has autism. The person’s response, “I’m sorry.”

She explained she wasn’t sorry and then wondered how many people out there feel sorry for parents with children with autism, simply because the child has autism.

Being a parent is not easy. I raise a child with autism and two without. It’s a crap-shoot who is going to be easier to parent most days.

That being said, I am NOT sorry to have a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. NOT AT ALL.

Yes, it means I have to think somethings through way more than I do with my other children. Yes, it means sometimes we don’t do things we want because we know it’s not possible. It means therapist appointments and referrals that may seem bizarre to some people. But it is not in any way less. It is not a death sentence. Not a life sentence. It is not all sunshines and rainbows, but it isn’t all tears and clouds either.

Every child is a gift. And every child is a challenge. They all deserve and require the same things from me as a parent. Love, affection, attention, food, water, space, encouragement and safety. And maybe I have to fill those needs a little differently for one of my kids, but it is not less and she is not less. And my other children receive more for having her as their sister.

Autism is not a curse. It is something we live with day in and day out that brings as many blessings as it does difficulty. But how do you respond to the well-meaning, albeit ignorant and misguided, person who says, “I’m sorry.”

~I’m not and here’s why…

~Don’t be, it’s not who she is, just something we live with…

~I appreciate your feelings, but there is nothing to be sorry about…

~If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart. This child has filled it with joy, not sorrow.

If you respond not by angrily denouncing the person who made the gaffe and immediately point out the positives of your child and situation, people’s hearts and minds WILL be changed. No one needs to be sorry about autism, but everyone needs to be educated.

 

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