An open letter to the police officer who helped my autistic son
Alexandra Samuel

Hi Co-Parent of an young man with autism here! This piece was beautiful. As a parent who has dealt with the same and different situations as you have, I feel I need to step up to some of the responses from obviously higher functioning people with autism.

My son could never respond to this writing. He could never tell me that the way I handled something was wrong (or even right) He only knows that I will always hold him to the standards he can manage. I know that withholding those you-tube videos, or taking away the rewards that have been set for him is all that works when he is “off.” We have tested and proven with him that when we don’t hold him to his standards, he gets lazy and manipulative. It does not serve him to allow this in his life. He can’t tie his shoes, we don’t ask him to. He can wash his own hair, we require him to.

If every parent treated every kid with autism per the expected norm, they would not be the beautiful individuals they can be. Every child is different. How that child reacts to taking away the structure in a particular situation is different. My Mom hated how my sister raised her daughters. “That’s not how I would do it,” she said. My nieces have grown into two beautiful young women. I could never judge how a Mom handles a child (unless there is outright abuse proven) when every child handles that management in their own way.

I hate the word, but kudos to you Mom. For keeping your child safe when the world (and he) have other ideas, for allowing him standards to measure himself by, and for sharing with us the joy you found in that terrifying moment.

Be Blessed.