This post is going to step on some toes. I don't really care because it's not meant to bring harm to anyone. I'm only pointing out something that I have noticed. Something that us parents of children with autism (actually all parents do it, but all children aren't who this blog is about) keep doing to one another.
It was about a month ago, give or take a few days. Henry was having his therapy, which has been dropped to two nights a week. He is in preschool now so we don't do it as often. His therapist has a little dry erase board that Henry loves. She writes, he erases. It's their game.
On this day in particular the therapist had been writing words and Henry was actually saying them! Some were sight words, others were not. He even did a few 2 word phrases. As you can imagine, I was so stinking excited! Just like any excited mother (neuro-typical kids or not) in this day in time, I immediately posted about my genius son** on Facebook. Sort of kidding there. I didn't post that he was a genius, just what he had done and it probably had a million "!!!!" somewhere in the post.
Boy, was my excitement shot down with the quickness. I got a few yays and "way to go"s, but what stood out the most were the "It's typical." "Kids with autism do that early"s. To be honest, as proud as I was of my boy, my heart was broken and my spirit was shot down. Why? I don't know. I'll never understand what goes through other people's minds.
You know what though. It wasn't fair to me and it wasn't fair to Henry even though he may not have had a clue what was going on. Had my child been neurotypical, his first time reading would have been an amazing thing. There would have been cheers all around. Since he has autism though, it was almost as if I shouldn't have been excited. I should have just been expecting it because you know...kids with autism read early. It's nothing special.**
I won't let that happen anymore. Ever. I will from now on rejoice in everything that I feel needs rejoicing. Screw what the books say about autism. My bubble was burst. I'm sure I've been guilty of bursting bubbles myself. The only way to stop it is for us parents to stop it. We have to stop acting like our children are different than others, we have to celebrate EVERYTHING, we have to stop telling each other how to do things.
Is it possible for us to connect with each other, support each other, and pat each other on the back without pulling statistics and research into it? Is it possible to just give each other our moments?
**If something had this by it in this post, it was sarcasm. No, I don't think my son is all knowing genius. But if I did, would you let me have that or shoot it down? Who would it hurt?