I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Autism – who has it toughest?

I’ll give you one guess. That’s right! Parents. Does the autistic child bother that he or she is autistic? Of course not. He just ‘is.’
I suspect that different parents have different experiences of autism. There are a certain percentage of parents who receive a diagnoses for their child and embrace the news openly, after a period of adjustment. Such people are the fluffy granola head types of parent. Are they phased and devastated by the news? Does their life come to an end? No, not these troopers, they accept the diagnoses and work with it. They adapt and grow with their children.

Other groups of parents, have a different reaction entirely. These parents are more than severely miffed by the diagnoses. Such parents had a plan, a diagnoses of autism wasn’t in the plan. Most things that aren’t in the plan can be ameliorated, limited or disposed of, but autism doesn’t fit happily into any of those categories. That is the main stumbling block. The anal parents club, of which I am the primary member, hold up the ‘life plan’ and wave it at anyone they can, screaming complaints, ‘not fair! Don’t do this to me!’

My club’s main objection to autism is how it messes with my own life. Members generally have a narrow viewpoint, a small island that signifies their safety zone and an aversion to learning or doing anything new. If the member is also elderly, you can more or less guarantee that the limitations are cast in stone and ingrained. Whilst they give the impression that they lead a full life, in reality they are treading water pending death, whether that is a few years or a few decades away. This parent cannot see that their life is not dissimilar to that of a hamster on a wheel, cannot see past the bars on the cage.

Whilst they may be the epitome of selfishness, fortunately someone arrives with a key, and not a moment too soon!


jypsy said...

and some of us "embrace the news openly," *without* "a period of adjustment"

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

Your whole post is grossly insulting.

I have never been a parent but you would not want my life, and now I am just treading water waiting for death as you put it.

I gave up the years that most people spend raising children to look after a disabled parent.

As if the characther quirks of my autism and age alone don't make me virtually unemployable, that lack of an employment history does.

And I gave up that time willingly.

AS said...

Thank goodness for the keys...my husband is mine.

Maddy said...

Dear LR [I looked for your email on your site but it's not available]
I am sorry that I have offended you as that was the furthest from my intent.
I appreciate that my rather warped sense of humor does not always translate well and that sarcasm is often mis-interpreted.
This post was meant to illustrate that there are a great many parents bemoaning their personal 'loss' with reference to autism whereas their may be better alternatives that other parents choose.
Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Is this post meant to be tongue-in-cheek or a parody? I can't tell!

Lora said...

I enjoy your "warped" sense of humor! We all do what we need to get through the day. My morning involved a plunger, a mop, and lots of cleaning fluids-- Not on my to do list for the day...

Unknown said...


You do have a good sense of humor. I appreciate it.

I think it is unfortunate though that you side with those who condemn parents who have to struggle with the realities of their childrens' autism. The fact remains that those parents who still love, care for and seek betterment for their children. And I think you know that.

Some parents express their difficulties, so what?

Haddayr said...

Oh, I hope you will post about the key!

I would like to add a third type of parent, which is the type I am: the type who complains bitterly and endlessly about everything, regardless of our child's neurological status or age.

I imagine I'll also be the type who whines about how _lonely_ I am when they leave the nest (which I have explained at great length to them will happen one day), and how I have too much time on my hands and have no idea how on earth to fill it.

I believe laurentius rex, above, and some of the others, perhaps have not read your blog enough to understand your self-effacing sense of humor and would otherwise have not been grossly insulted, but understand that what you said was in the context of your amazing and beautiful delight and celebration of your children just as they are.

jypsy said...

Mr. Doherty.

I hope you don't think I have never/do not still "struggle with the realities of their (my) childrens' autism."

For that matter, I struggle with the realities of my own autism.

That has nothing to do with acceptance, embracing autism etc

kristina said...

Suffering can't be quantified.

I would be dishonest to say that it was celebration etc. when Charlie was diagnosed. No one was enjoying themselves them, and it was very tough for Charlie, most of all.

Over the years, it has become only natural, and only right to celebrate Charlie because he has been my key to the good, the "goodest" life.

Bob King said...

I liked my wife's response to her son's Asperger's so much I put it on a T-Shirt.

Not Broken Kids T-Shirt

My own response to those desperately seeking a "cure," no matter what hell and pain they put their children through is more blunt:

>No Whining Women's Long Sleeve Dark T-Shirt

But then, my wife is much warmer and fuzzier than I, so John Best doesn't like me much. Oddly, that doesn't trouble me - a clear sign of how badly crippled I am by my horrid disability.

BTW, that was sarcasm and I love this post!

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