"Please put this on your status if you know someone (or are related to someone) who has AUTISM. My wish for 2010 is that people will understand that autism is not a disease; people with autism are not looking for a cure but for ACCEPTANCE."
Surprisingly, this has brought up a lot of emotions for me, not the least of which is guilt. More than anything, I want people to accept and love Danny for who he is. I want people to try to understand him, rather than merely judging and then dismissing him. I want him not to be pitied, but valued for who he is, and I want his strengths to be acknowledged, not just his weaknesses.
But, I also want him cured.
I am so hesitant to say this, because I know it is not politically correct. It implies that I don't accept my son for who he is; it says that I want to change him, that perhaps my love for him is conditional. But I don't think that is true. I don't want to change who he is, but I do want to make life easier for him, and if I am to be perfectly honest here, I want to make life easier for me too.
Because watching a child struggle with seemingly easy tasks? Yeah, that sucks.
Being unable to really communicate effectively with your kid is so frustrating.
Watching your son have difficulty making friends is heartbreaking.
And worrying that this may always be the case, that he may have some really lonely times in his life, that he may not be able to connect with others or that he will be ostracized or bullied--well, that's the stuff that keeps me awake at night.
So, if someone were to come along and say they could fix all of that? Well, I don't think I would hesitate to accept their offer.
Bil disagrees. He thinks that to take away the autism and SPD would change who Danny is. It would make him a completely different person, and he is sure we would miss the "old" Danny. Perhaps he is right. But right now, I just can't let go of how much I don't want him to have autism. I just can't seem to see past that. Maybe someday I will reach acceptance, but for the time being, I am angry.
Apparently, those shrinks who came up with the stages of grieving were onto something. I am in the anger stage, and have a feeling I may be here for a while. A long, long while.