STOP Shaming Autism Parents!
There’s a trend on social media attacking parents like myself, whom write about our lives with Autism. I could point out page names and blogs, but why give these people more attention than they deserve? Instead, I’m going to share my feelings about it.
First of all, people need to stop accusing us of being disrespectful. They claim that we have our blogs and pages to get attention for being an autism parent, and in doing so, are disrespecting our children. How bogus is that?? (Trust me, I loathe attention. I’m happy hiding out from small talk and people.) I myself, as with many other autism parents I know, started our pages and blogs to tell OUR story. (We aren’t here to tell your story. That’s your prerogative.) We are reaching out and sharing slices of our lives, to connect with other parents that are walking a similar path. To help ourselves, and to help others.
Secondly, they claim we are exploiting our children. (Another reason they accuse us of being disrespectful.) Okay, now maybe some people do that, but lumping all of us page owners and writers into that category is, well frankly, it’s bullshit! My son is old enough now, that I ask his permission to share certain things. When I started, he wasn’t able to make that decision. So his father and I would talk about what it was I wanted to share, and together, decide how to do it respectfully. I have never shared inappropriate images of my son. (Who would with all the pervs out there?) When talking about his severe cycles, I divulge basic information, but I never go in depth with things my son says to me in confidence. We don’t tell people where we live. I also don’t accept strangers on my personal Facebook.
Thirdly, they claim that we share too much. That by telling people our story, we’re in fact hurting our children. If my son has a rough day, he has a rough day. We are teaching him to own it. Shit happens, to ALL of us! If I choose to joke about it on social media, and let others know they aren’t alone in this struggle, how is that hurting my child? He isn’t the brunt of my joke. I am sharing to vent. Sharing to make light of a crappy day. That’s how we roll in our real lives too.
We can’t sit here, behind our keyboards and act like life is all sunshine and rainbows. That’s bullshit, and we all know it. As writers, we are sharing our story to reach out to all of you. These “sanctimommies” need to step off, and worry more about how they are raising their children, instead of how we are doing it. Hell, most of the autism pages I follow are much like mine. They share the good, the bad, sensory fun, inspirational posts, jokes, and more. They are real. Isn’t that what we want? Why would we want to read fake crap? Not one of us is a “perfect” parent! I could keep going on about how they’re judging us, but I have a life, and so I will stop here.
One last thought…. We’re all muddling through this gig together. Instead of belittling one another, let’s raise each other up! Besides, falling off a high horse would be pretty painful, and I for one, wouldn’t want to be the wanker that falls off!