Sometime ago I read a curious text in a Facebook page, where the author was repeating two slogans: “autism without sentimentalism” and “I love my son, not his autism”. It’s so wrong that hurts.
In order to break the path and understand the issue, first we must understand the autistic parents’ grief.
The ideal kid deconstructing
Every parent ideates their kids, how they’ll be, their choices, who they can become. However, that ideation is always an illusion: over our psychologically unarmed kids we project our own wishes and dreams, and we hope they are nothing but our continuance – who denies it just make it worse, lying to oneself, feeding this heinous behaviour.
This unreal idea goes being deconstructed throughout all the children’s growth time long, becoming teenagers and finally adults later, when they arise against the psychological bondage, into a self identity.
In case of autistic kids, the parents can’t take the growth time to assimilate that the ideal kid doesn’t exist, that there’s a unique singular person in front of them.
As soon as the parents get the autism prognosis, the ideal kid “dies” straight away, ’cause the neuropediatrician is telling them that their kid is rare, unique and singular, and will never reach their expectations, growing to be totally divergent.
I repeat, it kills the ideal son, leaving the parents along with that unique being, that they would take all growth time to know – and suddenly it all falls from the sky over them.
Remains the Autism.
My son: the Autism
The fact is that the child and the autism are inseparable: what we call “autism” is part of the child – more than that, the main part! It means the child is different, divergent, maybe even subversive (I hope so).
There is no such thing as autism. We just give bounding names to what we don’t understand, to what scapes from our miserable normality box.
So, when someone says “I love my son, not his autism”, he (or she) doesn’t note he’s saying he loves that dead ideal son, for whom he mourns, but he doesn’t love the real son he got.
Therefore, never say something like that. If you feel like that, I recommend to revise your concepts and gonna see a psychologist.
Perhaps being autistic helps me seeing it, but I can say unreservedly: I love my whole son, including what people call autism.
Translate from Reflexões de ℳontegasppα e Giulia C.