Saturday, November 15, 2008
If you feel torn between accepting your child with autism and treating them, there is no need for you to. That’s right; you do not have to choose between accepting your child who has autism and treating their autism. You can do both. I repeat: You can fully accept your child with autism AND you can treat your child’s autism without in any way diminishing your acceptance of or respect for your child. You should unconditionally love and wholly accept your child who has autism simply because he or she is your child. As parents, we love and embrace the children we have been blessed with because that’s what parents do. As parents of children who have autism, we must acknowledge that autism is a part of who our children are and that autism will affect them, us, and other loved ones… because that is our reality. Our children are who they are, and their autism is an important element of who they are. We must accept them for who they are and support them as best as we can. It is your right, privilege, responsibility and obligation to make decisions that are in your child’s best interest. If you are researching and implementing therapies, treatments and other interventions that you believe will be beneficial to your child and will help them to lead a productive, meaningful and fulfilling life with the greatest degree of dignity and independence possible, then you are doing the right thing. I implore you to avoid feeling compelled to choose between accepting your child and treating your child. You don’t have to; you don’t need to; and you shouldn’t. Rather than choose sides, choose to accept your child for who he or she is and to help him or her reach their full potential. Michelle McFarland-McDaniels is the mom of two beautiful preteen girls who have autism. She is also a wife, writer, blogger and teacher. Michelle publishes the Autism Assistance Resources and Information blog. She is also the publisher of Funding Autism Treatment and College Resources for Students with Autism.