Friday, September 20, 2013

Do NT parents have a right to complain?

"Does anyone else get annoyed when they hear parents of NT kids complain about how hard parenting is?"


I see this all the time. By "Neurotypical" here, I'm assuming they mean "not-autistic." I gotta tell you, no, it doesn't annoy me that NT parents complain. But seeing this sort of comment does. Do you have a "normal" kid? Have you ever lived with one day in and day out? had to deal with their crap? It's not easy. Not any easier than dealing with an autistic child's crap.

I hear all the time that if people could take our autistic kids for a day, they'd never ...whatever... again. Don't you think it's the same with the not-autistic ones? What makes you think parenting is so easy for them? ...even easy compared to how awful you have it?

Not-autistic parenting is hard, too. You can list all of the ways that parenting autistic kids is hard, I can even tell you some ways that my not-autistic kids are worse... but here's the thing...

This isn't a contest. Parenting is hard. period.

I have just as much right to complain about my not-autistic kids as I do my autistic kid.

Being an autism parent does not give me special rights. Equality is not about being better- or worse off- than the people you seek to be equal to.

You want to spread awareness. You want our children to be seen as equal. You want them to be accepted without question. You want people to see our children as no different than their children and to see us as their parenting equals. and yet... there's still a pissing contest about who has it harder.

What message do you think that is going to spread?

You walk around with your poor me attitude, your you don't get to whine because my kids are so much worse than your kids, and that is what people will see.

"Oh, those poor autism moms, let's feel sorry for them because autism is so bad. We shall call them Super Moms and tell them that God knew they were special."

"Special kids for special parents."

"Oh, honey, don't play with that autistic kid over there, that kid is worse than normal kids, his mama said so. Go find yourself a nice normal kid to play with."

And then you wonder why we get condolences with the announcement of a diagnosis. Why they look you in the eye and say, "I couldn't do it." You get mad at the comments that you have your hands full and they don't know how you do it, or get upset that your kids are not invited to parties. you don't understand why they think your kids are so bad.

You wonder why people suggest we euthanize our kids or demand that they be removed from "polite" society. You wonder why no matter how much we advocate, there is no acceptance. no equality. You wonder why no matter how hard we preach, our kids are seen as inferior, defective, and never, never looked at as just a normal kid who happens to have autism.

We are angry at the attitudes, angry at the way they see our children, angry with the way they treat our children- the hatred, the ignorance, the intolerance, the dirty looks and the cutting remarks... we are frustrated with the things people say and the things they do... all the while never seeing that what we say and do is a big part of the way others see autism.

We spread a message when we complain that someone else's complaint is invalid based only on the fact that our kids have autism, that because of our kids' autism our lives suck more than theirs, and that message is not a plea for the acceptance or equality our children deserve.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have thought this for a long time too. I've encountered this mindset on a few occassions. I get enraged for two reasons. First of all...at some point we thought our autistic son WAS NT. We struggled with him just as hard as if we had had the diagnosis. Moreso maybe in some cases because there were no answers at that time. Second, anyone who has an 11 year old girl...nuff said. She is way harder than my ASD kiddo most days. We don't know anyone's back story...at least not fully. Bottom line quit judging and competing and start supporting. Love this.

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  2. Yes. And for the record, Sophie is damn easier than all my 3 "normal" kids put together...

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  3. Great message! "This isn't a contest. Parenting is hard. period. " Yes!

    I think all parenting is both challenging and rewarding in there own ways.

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  4. Preach it girl. My most recent post was on this very thing.

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