So I was at the park with my son yesterday, and a young man and his little brother arrived. My son was playing with some "typical" kids, all was going pretty well. He was playing with the young man and the little brother also. The kids he was playing with left on their bike and scooter, and my son got very upset thinking they were leaving/cheating/trying to get away from him fast - he didn't "get" that they were going home, though once he calmed a bit, he understood and was ok.
A little while later, the young man came over to talk, and asked if my son was autistic. I said yes, mostly shows up socially.
I noticed I felt sad, though - and then I felt bad for feeling sad - like I was betraying my advocacy for feeing sad. A strange spiral of feelings. I think the sad comes from me wanting things to not be hard for him, and knowing that although he's just himself to me, that the stuff that I find charming and just "him" is stuff that might separate him and set him up for difficulty/bullying/whatever.
Sigh. Am I awful, does this make any sense? Do moms go through this, even activisty-moms?
It makes complete sense, you're not even the slightest bit awful, and all moms - and other caregivers, like me - go through that. I've had those same feelings. And you know what? That's okay. Accepting your child for who they are doesn't mean that you have to be cheerful about everything that comes along with that, especially when that something is bad. And knowing your child is going to have a tough time at some points? That's a tough thing to deal with. I've been there myself, when I was nannying, and I get it.
Your experience actually reminded me of one of mine. My post was about something different - it was about feeling gratitude, rather than sorrow - but there's a common theme. We both had this idea that accepting someone on the spectrum for who they are should mean that we feel the same emotions regarding them as for neurotypical children. But their reality is different, when you look at societal treatment, and it's okay to recognize that. Here's the post, let me know if you relate:http://www.autismspectrumexplained.com/…/on-society-gratitu…
Thanks! That helps a lot.
It is kind of sucky to think that we end up cheering because "yay, somebody's not a complete jerk!" Woohoo. tongue emoticon
Totally relate - I don't even want to think about middle and high school. Hopefully he'll find his geek-crowd - having the other slightly-off-kilter people as my social group was a life-saver. If you can't fit in, at least not fitting in with others that don't fit works smile emoticon
Actually, when you embrace how you don't fit in and embrace yourself for who you are, your quirkiness can actually add to your popularity. I know a lot of spectrum-y people who are popular for that very reason.
This is where you can come in and help, by raising your son to love himself for who he is. And you're doing a great job of that. smile emoticon
I hope this exchange helped any of you who were having similar feelings. Feel free to comment with your thoughts and questions below!