being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism. Therefore, when parents say, I wish my child did not have autism, what they're really saying is, I wish the autistic child I have did not
Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us:
that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces."
Those are strong words, that my greatest wish is for my son to cease to be. While Jim Sinclair is entitled to his perspective, I am entitled to mine.
Here’s my response:
My son was a complete person as a baby, with a personality all his own. When he regressed he lost many skills and his personality was overshadowed by the outward signs of brain inflammation. Why is this state his "real" state- with ASD- when his original state as a baby was different? Why is his "way of being" with ASD the right way for him? Wasn't the way he was as a baby his "real self" if it even makes sense to talk like that at all? He was very happy before his regression- very social, easy-going, slept well, had no food allergies, was an early talker. He's had two "ways of being" in his life, so why would the Neurodiversity proponents argue that the ASD version is the one he should keep?
I completely agree that people with ASD need to be respected for who they are right now, period. Everyone deserves to be loved by his/her parents unconditionally. None of the ASD parents I know, no matter what interventions they choose for their kids, doesn't love their child in a very immediate, fierce way. None of them wishes they had a different child. All they want is for the child they have to reach his or her potential, which is just what we want for all of our kids anyway. I am teaching my NT son to read- not because I can't love him as a non-reading child- but because reading is a skill that will serve him well in life. It's that same with my ASD son- we are working hard to help him learn to talk, not because we can't love him as a child with delayed speech- but because speech is a skill that will serve him well.