This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Loaded Language of Autism Treatment

Lately, it seems that when I'm talking with another ASD mom, I often here her say "I love my child, but.." when she is going to either talk about something that she is doing to help that child, or express a frustration about that child.  I have heard many moms of neurotypical kids express all manner of frustration about their children without ever feeling the need to assure the listener that they do, in fact, love that child.  This has been gnawing away at me for awhile.  What is going on here? 

As all of you are aware, I'm sure, the language around autism is highly politically charged.  Putting the words "autism" and "cure" in the same sentence is akin to bringing matter and antimatter together.  This language is also overflowing with baggage from the sordid past of autism perceptions in our culture, many of which center on the mother.  In addition to the backwards ideas that are hiding in this language, it also is a major barrier to positive productive conversations that can help move us forward.  Like most things when it comes to autism, we mothers are the ones who must change this if it is ever going to change.  In order to move forward and adopt healthy language that is conducive to positive discussions about ASD we need to unpack some of the sloaded baggage inherent in the current language so that we can move forward.

Firstly, we love our children.  This should be just as understood for us as for mothers of neurotypical kids.  I believe that the need we so often seem to feel to assert this is a shadow from the Bettelheim years that needs to be abandoned.  I think we need to stop acknowledging that our love for our children was ever questioned in the first place.  When the mother of a child with seizures, or diabetes, or cancer, or cerebral palsy, or pretty much anything else fights for her children and doesn't give up until they get what they need, she is a hero.  It is assumed that she is motivated by love and devotion for her child.  If we fight this way we are written off as crazy, in denial, and a threat to our children, and our fight is seen as evidence that we do NOT love or accept our children.  This needs to end.