I should probably put this on my other blog, but I only feel like typing one entry tonight so here it stays.
I felt really angry today.
I talked to someone I'd never met before and felt I had to explain that my son has ASD due to his odd behaviour.
I probably said it with a grimace, because this woman's immediate reaction was, "Oh, autism - that's such a gift for you! Those children are really talented in some ways!"
I wondered if she had taken any notice of the fact that she'd just seen me struggle through a 45 minute sunday school class with him - just trying to get him to stay in the room!
I felt really mad. I'm sure she meant to be nice and see the positive side, but I don't want to sugar-soap autism and make it all nicey-nicey. Too often people only see the 'genius' autistics who can calculate anything, draw exact replicas of cityscapes, learn 30 different languages in a day and so on. The fact is, these people are not representative of most people on the spectrum.
If your only idea of autism is to have 'supertalents', then you ignore the bad stuff that far outweighs the genius. And you manage to paint it with a nice brush and not think "We seriously need to do something about this problem."
Saying something like that also puts it back onto me to say, "Oh yes, isn't it wonderful that he has ASD" when actually it's the trial of my life and I find it really really really hard and yucky.
So there, I'm angry. Have been all day. How do you forgive someone? Am I angry at her? Or angry at the problem? I'm not sure.