Sunday, April 4, 2010

Autism Awareness

My son Brian told me about this blog and linked to one of her posts on his FB page. Some of you teachers might enjoy reading her blog. This is from her post about autism awareness on her blog A life less ordinary? that I enjoyed.
These instincts matter. We've made many people aware of our son's autism. The responses range over a spectrum from kind and understanding acceptance to the "I don't like labels" (as if their preference in this situation mattered) to an almost stated implication that we use autism as an excuse for our son's behaviors. The thing is, I think that people whose reactions are kind and understanding are kind and understanding people anyway, and the "It's all about what I think" people are like that all the time, and the "I judge you as a parent" people are simply like that all the time, too, awareness or not of autism notwithstanding.

Like most of us, I've been in the shoes of someone who was not aware of autism before I became aware of autism. Before I had children, back in the mid-1990s, I taught middle school. You've done your time if you've taught middle school--these kids are at the most befuddled age, confused and caught between childhood and adulthood, cool and collected one minute, silly and stupid the next, and the only predictable thing about them is their unpredictability. I loved them.


froggy said...

Most of my students have been middle schoolers. Loves them too.

froggy said...

btw - my friend who has two aspergers sons has been working with various agencies to find the youngest a job. One agency seems to think all he should be allowed to so is stocking shelves and hauling things around. He is very smart and could do anything on a computer but they seem to think that only a college degree will suffice for those jobs. She has found a new advocate who is willing to work outside the box.