I read an interesting blog entitled: What scars will autism leave behind? This was by a mother to three children, one of whom is autistic. In her blog she told about the realities of raising a child on the spectrum, of the fact autism is not a passing phase, but is here to stay, unlike other childhood phases such as toddlerhood. This resonated with me.
Autism will never go away, my son will always be autistic and I think sometimes people forget this. I often hear comments such as, “oh he’ll grow out of it.” How do you respond to something like that? I usually just smile and say nothing, as I know it was said with the best of intentions, but this sentiment is entirely wrong.
You do not grow out of autism, it is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition, it’s all pervasive. Individuals learn coping strategies and ways in which to deal with sensory issues etc., but autism will never go away, never. This is why when I read this mother’s further comments about autism leaving invisible scars, I knew exactly what she meant. These scars are those left by the learning curve we all have to go through, the scars left from the unhelpful comments given by complete strangers. As this mother so rightly says, people are forever telling her to look on the bright side and to embrace autism. But as she also states this is so very difficult to do. I can completely understand where she is coming from. I do not like all the posts which talk about autism as a ‘different ability’ rather than a disability.
But at the same time I focus on Tom’s strengths, and his accomplishments. He makes me the see the world in a completely new way and for this I am grateful.
So what did I learn from reading this blog? Well, I suppose that parents of autistic children do have the same worries and concerns, which other parents will never understand. This gives me comfort. I am not alone.