Do they or don’t they?

Once again this week I’ve been thrown into the confusion of why parents seem to want a diagnosis for their children if they don’t actually have autism or aspergers. I know I have spoken of this several times before but I still find it a hard concept to wrap my head around. I have become friends with a lovely lady who I wont go into too much detail about but suffice to say she’s doing it tough. She’s an amazing mother and two of her children are on the spectrum. One has aspergers and one has autism. She has been in the situation where people have questioned her as to whether her aspergers child truly has it as they are very high functioning. I believe that she does, I haven’t necessarily seen the signs myself but I have gotten to know this lady well enough to know that she doesn’t want to label her child unneccessarily and that it was suggested to her, unlike the mothers who I speak about above. Usually (from experience) ‘those’ mothers research and ask many many questions of parents with kids on the spectrum so that they know the right things to say at their appointments. Now I know that assessment is also based on the child itself but if the child is very young it is often based on what the parents tell the specialists. Often (and I know) these parents fill their kids full of sugar before an appointment or keep them up ’til all hours so they are tired. They may send them to school too early in their lives so they are always behind in their learning, proof in their minds that they have issues.

I have met several ladies who fall into this category. Of course I’m no expert but from what I’ve seen of these kids they’re just not on the spectrum. If they are then my Bridie is and I’ve had her tested so I know she isn’t! It dawned on me last night one of the reasons I find this so difficult. Why I don’t cope with parents saying “You should see them at home, it’s not always apparent but they do this and that at home”.  Or when Bec and I will be talking about our kids extreme behaviours and one of these parents try to empathise as if they knew exactly what we mean. I realised that I find this difficult because nobody has ever thought that about my Beth. Nobody has ever said “Are you sure?” Nobody has ever questioned my right to have a diagnosis for my child because it’s so bloody obvious. And I find myself in tears even writing this, even though I’m ok with it, even though I love my Bethie with all my heart, just the way she is. And I feel for my newfound friend who, because of all the charlatans out there before her and alongside her are making people doubt her parenting and questioning her motives when all she wants to do is be a good mum to her kids. And saying things to her like how it’d  be easier if their kids were on the spectrum, then they’d get more assistance. Don’t wish your child to be on the spectrum. Don’t wish your child to have anxiety, fear, no friends and dependance for the rest of their lives. Love your children for what they are, aspire for them to be the best that they can. How dare you try to capitalize on something that can be so debilitating, to the child, to the parents, to the whole family. How dare you.

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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