Today is a tough day. I mean, mostly everything about this lockdown (in my very privileged life) is just what I needed, just what I wanted.⠀⠀
But when a neurodivergent family is thrown together, against their control, with no respite, no continuity of the routine/schedule/services that were previously supporting your neurodivergent needs and no time to transition into a said new lifestyle…⠀
Well, the shit is bound to hit the fan. So to speak.⠀⠀
Autism is great, for sure, wouldn’t change it for the world.⠀⠀
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with the biggest, most hugest, bigger than I can explain, challenges. ⠀⠀
There literally is no such thing as ‘High Functioning Autism’. ⠀⠀
If I *had* to give it a functioning label ‘Surviving on a Daily Basis’ would be the best fit (IMHO), and that label would describe every autistic person living in this crazy modern world, no matter their wide variety of strengths and difficulties. ⠀⠀
To be autistic is hard work, and requires a constant commitment to life.⠀⠀
And I share about my own experience of this a lot, but I never let myself write about parenting autistic children…⠀
It’s really hard to give a proper, realistic insight into what it’s like to parent autistic children.⠀
To do that would mean to share their personal details, to be deficit focused (we tend to save that for our funding meetings and assessments), and to write things that no one would ever in a million years want their children to ever stumble across and read. ⠀
I fully embody this perspective.⠀⠀
Yet I constantly search for someone, ANYONE who is writing about the experience I am having – so that I might feel validated, and not so alone.⠀
But no one’s writing about it! ⠀⠀
Because no one can morally share the inside scope on what reeeeally happens in autism without betraying their commitment to being the best parent they can.⠀
I found an article yesterday (on a clickbaity platform I’d never usually click on) written by a mother experiencing the closest to my own parenting experience that I’ve yet to read. I felt my heart stop for a moment, in solidarity, and then (I know, I know!!!) I read the comments.⠀
They were judgemental, ableist, ignorant, unfair, insensitive and disapproving. And so triggering.
It made me realise that the non-autistic world will never truly understand the experience of parenting autistic children because it’s just not safe for us to share about.
I guess what I’m trying to say is,
If you know a family with autism in the mix, please know that this time is not easy for them, no matter how many #lifegoals they appear to be nailing, no matter how easily this lockdown appears to fit in with their ‘already homeschooling’ life, no matter how many times they say they’re fine, and that social distancing is their dream anyway!
Know that they can’t tell you their reality, because their reality literally can’t be shared in words.
And if this is how us parents are feeling?
Just imagine, how our children are feeling xxx
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