Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not Himself

In the struggle to give my son an opportunity that he wouldn't otherwise have, I have shut the door on his potential.

When he was small, he was a typical boy with autism. He screamed and had tantrums and didn't smile so much and didn't like contact. I could barely keep him in school. None of the teachers wanted him in their classes.

I decided that I had to teach my son how to hide his symptoms so that he would be better accepted and so that he could survive in this life. I taught him how to make and keep eye contact. I taught him how to sit still for longer and longer periods of time. I taught him to seek out hugs. I taught him how to suppress his tantrums most of the time.

I taught him how to not be himself.

Only now am I realizing how stupid I've been. At school, when my son is feeling bad and doesn't want to deal with school, do you know what he does? He acts like himself. He screams and throws tantrums.

The teachers throw up their hands and give up on him and send him home. They supposedly specialize in children with autism, but they can't handle my son on the very few days out of the school term when he acts out. "He's not acting like the student I know." Well, you never knew him. Then they simply throw him away; they reject who he really is.

I can no longer abide by this. Why am I teaching my son to act like someone else to make them comfortable when they don't appreciate that? They think I'm lucky to have my son. They're ignorant of all the hard work my son, family, and I have put into his behavior. They think that he's a happy little mistake. They're blind to the truth.

He's not my mistake; he's my blessing.

No comments:

Post a Comment