When my daughter was diagnosed first with PDD-NOS and later with autism, I easily fell into the ~ I-completely-love-and-accept-my-daughter-but-I-do-not-accept-her-autism ~ mindset. At the time, this seemed perfectly logical and I didn’t think a great deal more about it. Autism was the “problem” after all, not her, and once we got rid of the autism, everything else would fall into place. When people said the word “acceptance” and “autism” in the same sentence I nodded my head yes, while my mind carefully separated autism from my daughter, plucked the word from the sentence and placed it into a box before closing the lid.
It took a very long time for me to understand that my daughter and autism were not to be separated. And it wasn’t until I began developing real friendships with Autistic adults that I stopped trying or wanting to separate the two. Acceptance is much more than tolerating something or saying – okay I won’t actively fight this any longer. Acceptance is an embrace, it’s understanding and actively celebrating difference, it’s about looking inward and asking questions. It’s about self-reflection and digging deep into the darkness of preconceived beliefs and being willing to be wrong. It’s about saying – I don’t know and I don’t understand, will you help me? It’s about being vulnerable and not “right” and it’s about the excitement of discovery and being curious and open to different ways of being and seeing the world. To me, it is the most exciting way to live life.
To say I’m grateful to all those people in my life whose neurology falls under the Autistic label, would be a vast understatement.
Today at 4PM eastern time, Brenda Rothman of Mama Be Good, Melody Latimer of AS Parenting and I will be speaking about Parenting Toward Acceptance. The webinar can be found at the following link – http://www.icdl.com.
In other news, I was more than a little surprised to see this – Top 10 Social HealthMakers