Trying to re-wire my brain.

21 Feb

I’ve heard and read so many times lately, that saying, the one that goes- “people who have autism use a different operating system” or maybe its something like, “their brains are just wired differently”. You know what I know for sure now? I am the one who needs to operate in a different way, I need to re-wire MY brain.

So I am going to admit something that quite a few people can identify with. When I was in high school where I was first exposed to kids that were in the special needs classes well, I never really sought interaction with them. I just thought that they could probably gain more from friendships from one another and visa versa. I know, this sounds horrible right? Honestly though, I fault the adults in my life and the school system, well, probably just society in general. Why aren’t we taking classes on acceptance or discussing special needs in health classes starting when we are young enough to attend school? Why aren’t our teachers trying to spread awareness? I’m starting to get nervous like this is coming out all wrong, but all I am trying to say is I never understood the special needs kids that went to my school because it was never really explained to me, and at my school, the classes were separated. Maybe if I had been more aware and if it was an open discussion I had with my parents or a discussion the schools set up to spread awareness well, maybe then I would have paid attention. Maybe then I would have thought of things a little differently. 

I guess what I’m saying is that I feel bad, I feel like I was missing out. Also, I think that this is one of the biggest fears I have for my son, it involves other people and how they will interact with him. Then I think, well I can kind of understand where they are coming from because its not something that a lot of people are concerned about or think about, and that’s the problem. People immediately get uncomfortable about things they don’t understand. I am really hoping that autism becomes something as talked about as dyslexia or ADHD. I feel like people just don’t really understand it, and that is dangerous. I mean very dangerous, I could not believe what I was hearing the first time I heard autism was to blame for the Newtown shooting. That was beyond horrible.

So I guess what i’m saying is, i’m still trying to figure out how to view this upcoming diagnosis. This is only because there seems to be two separate dialogues when it comes to how we should view autism. One side views acceptance while the other seeks a cure. One side sees the differences autism brings as beautiful and something to be celebrated while the other side sees something “wrong” that needs to be “fixed”. 

Someone close to me even bought me every single Jenny McCarthy book when we first suspected L could have autism. Yeah. You know what that will do to a person?!

All I know is, autism can’t be “bad” because my son is not “bad”. He is beautiful, he is un-apologetically himself. He sees the world as a wonderful and interesting place, hell, I wish I could be like that! How could autism be bad? Sure there might be challenges, but are those really challenges or are those behaviors we see to be challenges just because they differ from what society thinks is “normal”? The way society thinks one should behave? I wont lie. Dealing with the general public has been way harder than some say “dealing” with autism is. Sure L has freak outs and what not here and there. I’ll take that over weird stares any day. If the general public thought differently, would I really worry about people coming up to us out in public or them feeling generally awkward around my son because they really can’t place what’s going on with him? I struggle with this because I want everyone to see and know how great he is, I don’t want them to only notice his “differences”. 

So just some thoughts. As always I would love other peoples opinions on this and how you deal with the general public when it comes to their attitudes towards your beautiful children. Are you blunt? Are you understanding? Do you explain what autism is if they don’t know? Just wondering, sometimes I just don’t know how to deal. I just want to yell at the top of my lungs when I get “those stares” that my son is great and you should all think he’s great too! I’m pretty sure that would startle people though, and I guess i’m supposed to guard their feelings when they never care about mine.

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2 Responses to “Trying to re-wire my brain.”

  1. mrasperger April 4, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    I can totally understand what you mean expecting the people in the social ed classes to hangout with themselves. I felt like that for a long time, but that’s also because I was really afraid of being found out myself. That if people saw me hanging out with people who were different they would realize, how different I am.

    • eml2187 April 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

      Well it’s good to realize now that there is absolutely nothing wrong about befriending the kids in those classes. I just realized, now that I have a son in special education, that I never really took the time to think about the kids in those classes. I felt pretty separated from them which didn’t help. We shouldn’t have had classes that were completely separated like that.

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