Doing the Best I Can…

Yesterday I was targeted by someone whose name I am not going to divulge because doing so will only further engagement and unnecessary dialogue.  I am going to keep this about my reaction to being attacked and will not engage in a counter attack.  One of the things I have learned over the years is that when someone attacks, my knee jerk response is to attack back, but this never actually does anything to further the conversation, encourage discussion or an exchange of ideas.  Nothing changes when two people angrily engage in self-righteous, self-justified shouting matches.  So why do it?

Sadly, within any community, positions are taken, an “us” and “them” mentality which serves to separate each other from the very people we appear to want to engage.  I do not completely understand this desire by some to engage others with their anger.  However I do know first hand the feeling of frustration when I have believed something and had those beliefs questioned, judged or argued with.  When someone says with absolute conviction that they know for a fact that a certain therapy, treatment or way of supporting another does or does not work, I figure it’s worth investigating.  I do my best to look at the pros and cons, I try to read the various scientific studies, the anecdotal stories, and control studies if there have been any.  I take into account how many people were used in the study, I look at who conducted the study and whether there were any conflicts of interest in the study’s results.  I read any controversy surrounding the therapy.

If I know someone personally who is using whatever the therapy, treatment or support is, I reach out to them, ask them questions and observe.  If what I am observing counters the conclusions of some of the scientific studies done, I take that into account and look at why that might be.  Beyond wanting to do what will prove best for my daughter I try to remain open to both sides.  However, if a number of Autistic people have PTSD because of a particular therapy or speak out about it with their reasons why, I listen to their accounts and place more weight in their experiences than I do in studies conducted by neurotypical “experts”.  I also listen to those who are Autistic and have found something particularly helpful, even if many neurotypicals suggest otherwise.

These are the things I do.  Others may have different approaches, but this is what has proven most helpful for me.  When someone then attacks me for doing a particular therapy, treatment or support with viciousness, it hurts, but it does not make me change my opinion, in fact it does the opposite.  When someone personally attacks me with sarcasm, condescension and aggression it serves to make me wonder why they would do so.  When they then back their vitriolic, venomous statements by saying that “science” is behind them and that I cannot possibly have read the studies they cite, when they dismiss opposing studies as being “shoddy” and “poorly” done as non-science or “pseudoscience”, there is no point in responding.  When they then further their comments by saying that I am being “unethical” and suggest that by engaging in such support I am hurting those who cannot speak by putting words in their mouth, it crosses the line of being about ideas, opinions, science or anything else, it is a personal attack.

I come here day after day and share my thoughts, feelings, views.  I try to be honest, above all else and in doing so open myself up to attack.  I know that.  I cannot do this any other way.  I am vulnerable in a way that those who attack me are not.  That’s okay.  No one is forcing me to write a blog or to be as honest as I can be.  These are the decisions I’ve made.  I try hard to keep my side of the street clean, as they say.  Some days I’m more successful at that than others, but I always keep showing up and trying as best I can.  In the end that’s all any of us can do.

Unrelated photograph taken Christmas Day on the ranch

Christmas Day

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170 responses to “Doing the Best I Can…

  1. This is one of the very best blogs I’ve yet to read since I’ve started my own. It’s unfortunate when we cross paths with people like this and I’m sorry it happened to you. However, based on your post above… it’s sounds like you’ve got a fantastic handle on things with your beautiful little girl. I wish you the best of luck.

    Warm Wishes~ A Mother of 4 :)

  2. I can feel your authenticity and that is the gift you are giving the world. Don’t let any attack or attacker take away from this gift you have to give. You provided a very gracious response.

  3. Sometimes, it’s more difficult to explain something than to just accept that others might not understand. Strength and courage. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Reblogged this on GK Reviews and commented:
    This post is in consideration of reviewing.

  5. I/m sorry to read this. Gathering from your blog title, it looks like you are talking about autism treatments, and it’s awful that someone would try to criticize your actions. We never know what will work. Good on you for not getting bogged down by this person.

    All the best to you and your family.

  6. From what you have written, I see that you have a straight forward, thoughtful approach to things. Ignore the stones and pitfalls on the way, and continue your journey. Wish you best of luck…

  7. I know that feel. Thank you for writing this.

  8. The first paragraph of this really jumped out at me, and spoke to me specifically today. I am in the middle of a compeltely unrelated but similar challenge, and needed just that message! Thank you for sharing.

    • I’m sorry this is something you’ve experienced. Or should I write that in the present tense?
      It was a bit ironic that after I was so viciously attacked, WordPress told me they were putting this post on their “fresh pressed” page. It’s kind of incredible how many people have identified with it. I guess the good news is – we aren’t alone!

  9. Thank you for sharing!I totally can relate to this! Wise words! I wish you the loads of strength! Greetings from halfway around the World.

  10. I know very little about autism, but from what I understand, it is a wide ranging illness. Not everyone will react the same way to every treatment. Nobody really understands the noise and the lightning flashes and the music that is in someone else’s head.

    Haters hate. No matter what truth you tell them. The internet just makes it much more efficient.

    God Bless.

  11. All a Mum ever wants it to do their very best for their child. We all have to make decisions and we have to make those using the info available to us. You seem to do all you can and more to make sure you are happy with your choices so how anyone can attack that is beyond me. You are so much better than your attacker and I think all of the messages above prove this. Good luck

  12. Keep on doing what you’re doing. As you say they personal attack on you has nothing to do with you. As hurtful as it is, it’s more of a reflection on them.

    Plus they’re probably a meanie anyway ;) Keep smiling!

  13. I like this blog. It’s really cool.

    P.S. Want to learn how to make money with your blog? Go here to find out more.

  14. We’re all doing the best we can, with what little we may have, and i’m glad, that you’re putting yourself out there, despite what others may say about your point of view

  15. Great post, wise words that the rest of us “bloggers” need to keep in mind. Thanks!

  16. Thank you for defending people with autism. I know I would have attacked someone if they said anything bad about my son, he has autism. But you have a big heart though. I look forward to reading more from you :-)

  17. I work with autistic kids in my therapy practice and I have never seen a one size fits all approach work. Each autistic child is a world unto themselves in a semi-related universe. As far as the psuedo-science, once a treatment that gets called that has helped even one child stop screaming all night, I’m too practical to care if everybody doesn’t agree with it. I just want the poor parents and that tortured kid to be able to sleep through the night, or walk in a door and make a relational comment to the people in the room, or stop fighting putting their snow boots on when it’s 10 below.
    Fight the good fight and keep giving people the hope to keep looking.
    God Bless

  18. Excellent. Very well said. I’ve been attacked and more often judged by those who really have no clue. I know that vicious urge to lash out in retaliation…. but I’ve learned the hard way to contain it. It only makes it worse.

  19. No matter what any of us do, there will always be someone out there to judge us, good or bad, right or wrong. Criticism is more a reflection on the one passing judgment. All we can do is move forward with pure intent and do the best we can. For the only one who really needs to agree with us is ourselves. Trust your intuition and ignore the outside chatter. Honestly, YOU know best. And it sounds to me that you are doing exactly that. Dance the steps to your dance, not the dance of your critic. For I’m sure your dance is lighter and filled with much more joy. And hopefully the critic, one day, will learn your dance too.

  20. On youtube I used to read the vilest comments and people getting into rants rolling over pages and pages of comments even. It’s SO easy to get involved in something so inane. Good for you that you didn’t bite. Some people just place provocative comments to get a reaction. The worst scenario for them is if they don’t get a response. ;)

  21. Anger is an emotion some people have no control over, you shouldn’t blame your self because its usually the people that are full of truth and heart that cop the “brunt” of these types of attacks! I’ve been there myself and know what a struggle it is, keep your chin up as people like that fade quickly into the background of what is truly important :) It’s nothing but pity we should all feel for them.

  22. Powerful post. As a Mum of two girls with Autism I can relate to this. Stay strong (I know it’s easier said than done) thanks for sharing this and sending you a (((BIG HUG)))

  23. Ignore (and delete) the hateful trolls. No one knows your child like you do, and no child has a greater ally than a loving parent. Emma is lucky to have you.

  24. It sounds like you’re doing a great job and being so kind to share your successes, research, and trials with others. God bless.

  25. thank you for sharing…wish you the very best of luck!!!!

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