Someone recently asked me what was the hardest part of being an autism mom. I had to think about this for a while, and when it finally came to me, the answer was a little surprising. The hardest part of being an autism mom is not the meltdowns, the speech difficulties, the stares and rude comments from strangers, or the lack of sleep. It’s not the heartbreaking desperation that my child experiences when he cannot communicate something, and it’s not the hurt that my younger son feels when I have to put his needs aside to take care of his brother’s autism-related crisis. It’s not my own exhaustion and more-than-occasional sense of being overwhelmed.
To me, the hardest part of being an autism mom is the infighting that happens within the autism community.
I already use so much energy advocating for my child in the school system, making sure he has the services he needs, and doing my part to raise awareness so that he will live in a world where he is treated with dignity and respect. I really shouldn’t have to be defending my actions and choices to autism parents who think their way is the only way. (more…)