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Monday, December 21, 2015

Resource Monday: "NeuroTribes" Is On My Reading List

A reader sent me a link to this Forbes article about Steve Silberman's book, NeuroTribes and now I am waiting impatiently for Amazon to deliver my copy.

Silberman goes into the history of autism and its perception and impact through that history, but one quote from the review really, really stuck with me:

 “Research across many types of disability shows that the main thing that influences how much stress and anguish parents feel is their subjective judgment of their children’s abilities — not how disabled their children actually are,” Silberman said. “In other words, parents who dwell on hating their children’s autism, and feeling like they were robbed of having a normal child by a vaccine, actually suffer more than parents who accept that their children will always be different from typically developing children, and aim to help them live up to their maximum potential, whatever that may be.”

I cannot tell you how very, very disturbed and downright irked I get when I hear someone - particularly a parent - describe their children's autism as a tragedy, or a disease - something that "took" their real child away from them.

If your child is newly diagnosed, I'll give you a pass for that because that's how it feels at first, mainly because your expectations were so far from where your reality is. But as you learn and grow (along with your kid) and begin to understand the unique way they see the world and the particular way their brain processes it, you rearrange those expectations and redefine your reality.

And that's not a bad thing.

Let me repeat that: that's not a bad thing.

Autism didn't "take" my son from me. He is who he always has been, and across these years I've learned to help him navigate the often confusing world around him and I've hopefully educated people to help him as well. And while I've been doing that, he's been plugging along, learning and adapting and moving forward at the pace that works for him.

He is who he is, and who he was meant to be. I love him not despite his autism, but along with it. It defines him on so many levels, but it certainly isn't all that he is or can contribute to the world around him.

I am so looking forward to the arrival of this book, and I promise, I'll give it a full review!

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