Today's post comes from another autism blogger I have come to know well. No Guile . I stole this description from her facebook page:
This is our life. 4 kids, ASD, teenagers, executive functioning disorder, ADHD, seizures, Movement disorders, and a hemophiliac thrown in for good measure. Yes it's a crazy chaotic house but Good, bad, and indifferent we are in this together.
She is a fantastic writer and important advocate in our community. I am proud to introduce (or share) No Guile: Life and Stories from Autism
You don’t have to like it All to Accept Autism
There’s this idea that to accept autism you have to like all parts of it. If you don’t then you truly do not accept autism or your child, sibling, spouse, friend, or self. That is just a bad way of thinking. Acceptance is not all or none. Just because you do not like say meltdowns does not mean you do not fully accept them. You can accept something and not like parts of it.
In my house we have a parent and two children all autistic. Now the other parent and other two children well they just have to deal with it. Does my husband like it when I honestly cannot get words to come out of my mouth? No. He knows I’m not faking but yet has to deal with people who think I am. It’s not all the time. One recent story that comes to mind is we had to go to court for a car accident. I had to testify. My anxiety was so high before. I had to wait in the hall by myself and a bailiff who worked in the court tried to strike up a conversation, just being nice figured I was bored. After two hours of sitting in a hallway by myself I was really bored. I tried to answer him and yeah no words came out. He just looked at me like I was nuts and walked away. People either think you are nuts or just flat out rude.
Do any of us like the awkwardness and anxiety large groups of unknown people cause? Trust me it sucks when you are seen as the outcast and you are only there because you are related to someone there. Not because anyone wants you or your kids there. At the same time this very thing the anxiety and awkwardness has helped us find out who our real friends are. So there’s even good and bad in the anxiety.
There are times where one of us gets fixated on something and it just gets on your nerves. Just because I don’t want to hear about leggos anymore because I just might lose my mind, does not mean I do not accept that this is a part of my child. I know and accept the fixation and the need to fully follow through with something is part of him. Hey sometimes the fixation is great, awesome and works to his advantage sometimes though it just drives you crazy. For some reason it’s ok to say my NT spouse or NT child is driving me crazy but don’t you dare admit your autistic spouse or child is.
Meltdowns well no one likes them. Not the person experiencing them not anyone that has to witness. Both sides feel helpless. Now while we do not like them they do serve a purpose. It’s kind of like they hey this is too much back up NOW signal.
Even things that people think are great can have a downside. My two kids are very trusting. While a great thing to be is trusting sometimes they miss the little social cues that tell you wait this person is bad news. They really don’t like you they are using you. Or they may very well like you but are taking advantage of you.
Accepting to me means that while you may not like little parts of autism, you know this is part of autism and always will be. That are good and bad to every part of autism, just as there are good and bad to anyone. For us even with some of the stuff we don’t like. We wouldn’t change any of it. Even the parts of autism I don’t like I wouldn’t change. You have two choices you can stand up and do what needs to be done in the moment or you can just walk away.