Real Autism Awareness- We celebrate our son, not autism.

Typically I focus on the good parts of our life and our experiences with autism but as I said in a previous post I feel that sometimes that paints an inaccurate picture of what Autism is to some of the families in our community. This post will probably be controversial and will surely get me some unlikes but I have to say it or I won’t be able to sleep tonite-

All of this “celebrate autism” talk drives me insane.

Spread awareness, action, & acceptance? Sure! Celebrate your kids and family members with autism? Of course! ..But celebrate autism? Not going to happen here. It comes from a place of speaking to countless parents who have children with severe autism. Please don’t judge me solely off of this statement, but in my personal  experience, I think sometimes it’s easy for mothers of higher functioning kids to be the ones to say that “autism is great and easy!!” Ask one of the moms or dads who are making constant er trips after watching their children seize multiple times everyday, the parents who have lost their children to homes because they feared for their other kids, the parents who have witnessed their kids shackled to hospital beds, the parents who have no outside help and feel absolute desperation, the parents who have lost their kids due to wandering & drowning… I have talked to those parents. I have cried with them and felt their pain. I will not celebrate what those children endure each day. I know how lucky we are that Bug is now high functioning. I just can’t ignore all the kids that aren’t. How would you feel if you or your child was going through all this and everyone wanted to celebrate? To me this is a HUGE part of autism awareness that doesn’t receive enough attention. It’s not all flowers and puppies.

To be clear. I am in no way downplaying the things that high functioning families go through. My son is high functioning, we know the struggles all too well. The only reason I brought high functioning up was because the people I am referring to who are “celebrating autism” happen to be parents of high functioning kids. I have yet to read a celebrate autism post from a parent of a child with severe autism. This is why I believe with everything in me that some MAJOR changes need to happen with the DSM. There are different types of autism. In my humble opinion, an individual with Aspergers syndrome should not be compared to an individual with severe autism. They are totally and completely different.

So at our house, we celebrate our son. not autism.



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