Dear “autism community,” especially autism parents,
Far too frequently the perspectives and experiences of autistic adults are dismissed by autism parents. Not by all parents, of course, but too many. We are told that we are “too high functioning” to understand what you are “dealing with.” We are told that we cannot understand the “severe autism” that some of your children have. We are told that we “cannot speak” for your children because we are too different and that we don’t have the same needs.
There are a lot of things wrong with that generalization; a LOT. But I’m only going address one of them right now. And that is that it needs to be remembered that there ARE autistic adults out here who are also parents of autistic children. I am far from being the only one; we are many.
My perspective as an autistic adult would be relevant even if I had no children. As an autistic parent of autistic (and non-autistic kids), it may be even more so in certain circumstances. By failing to acknowledge me, you have disregarded me not once but twice.
To separate me from my own children because of something as arbitrary as age to me makes as little sense as it does to ask someone who is biracial to “choose” what race they must identify with instead of respecting that they represent both. While I doubt it is intentional, sentiments like this are as hurtful as they are disrespectful and dismissive.
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