Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Soapbox and a Cleaning Spree

The kids and I, early summer, 2003.  
Yes, Safety Guy was one honking big 4 1/2 year old. . .

I realized this week that I spend a lot of time hiding what I really feel or think when I'm not close to the people I'm around.  It's easy to just get along, be non-confrontational, and do the minimum to avoid offending people.  It's also a reflection of my fear and insecurity.  But, that's not going to help my kids (or myself) in the long run.  Some things are worth standing up for.  

In my case, I realized it's been easy to be silent about my son's autism (Asperger Syndrome specifically) on my personal Facebook page.  Now, come on, if my friends can't handle my opinion about this, who can? And they certainly know about my son's autism. After posting this to my blog FB page, but not to my personal page, I realized after a day or so that I was hiding again, trying not to rock anyone's boat, afraid of taking flak for sharing my opinion.  But THIS needs to be said, and THIS BOAT needs to be rocked a bit.  It's not earth-shattering on a global scale, but it's important in my world, and my son's world, so here it is:

I don't soapbox much, but this post might get me some flak: You cannot separate autism from the individual who has been born with it. Making their autism seem like a disease to be cured, or a defect to be rooted out, or a flaw that can never be remedied, cuts to the heart of who they ARE. They ARE autistic. They HAVE autism, but they can't just get rid of it or give it away or kill it. It's a fundamental part of them. They can live with it, use it, adapt to it, minimize certain effects of it, deal with it, wrestle with it, struggle and fight and rise through it, but it's not going to just go away or be healed and disappear from their lives. So I make a plea: please don't demonize autism, because then you cut down my child and make him seem like less than he really already is - marvelous, individual, made in the image of the Lord just as much as any other human. Help him grow, help him learn, help him adapt, help him fly. But for goodness' sake, don't clip his wings or cut him down or tell him he's less than any other person because of his autism.

In other news, I'm continuing to winnow our belongings and generally clean the house.  Today Safety Guy and I found his floor and his closet.  (Angels should be singing hallelujahs right about here).  NOW I feel like I can have a realtor come in and look at the house.  And he feels good about his room again.  He was willing to get rid of a lot of old stuff, and very cooperative about the whole cleaning process.  He even swears he wants to keep his room clean now, and wherever we move.  Small steps!

I also realized that the Princess doesn't know how to use the dryer.  Hmmmm, time for her to start doing some of her own laundry. . . .

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