I was going to post this as a comment in response to the “Why Autism Sucks: Chocolate Chips, Cheap Wine and a Big Ball of Poop”article, but one of the comments has gotten me so riled, I have to post as a regular article.
Richelle's a lot nicer than I am – I was bloody furious when I read Kathryn's comment. Kathryn says she has autism, but she is obviously verbal – and verbal enough to express herself in a coherent manner. One of my sons is neither. Kathryn, if you do have autism, you should realize that it takes many forms, and the form you seem to have is not one that would push me over the edge as a parent. One of my sons is high functioning, but is nowhere near as well spoken as you. He has had times when he wouldn't even venture out of the house due to anxiety. This I can handle. My other son, on the severe, non verbal end, is currently freaking out because the timer went off in the kitchen and I did not jump right up to turn it off; instead I finished typing the last sentence.
My mistake, because it is now 15 minutes later that I am getting back to this. Kathryn, did you have a mother & father & a stable home? My crappy ex husband took off 2 months after my boys were diagnosed (and has had no contact at all for the last 9 years) – I am doing it all on my own. I have no breaks, no weekends & holidays off, I have had to give up my job & career & have learned to live off of IHSS because no one else is willing to do what I do for minimum wage to take care of my boys. How DARE you tell me to stop whining & take responsibility! I went up against our school district & filed due process 6 times between the 2 kids and won each time before I realized I could do a better job homeschooling one of my boys and the money would be better spent on decent therapy than lawyers.
My non verbal son is currently going through adolescence and masturbating every chance he gets. The school district, the regional Center, the Behavioral Therapists – no one knows how to help him. He peed on his carpet so much that I had to rip up the entire carpet & redo the floors. He is also an eloper – I have padlocks on my windows and doors so he doesn't run off & get hit by a car, because he has no recognition of personal safety, despite years of therapy. Am I saying I wish he wasn't like this? You're damn well right I'm saying that! It is not all lovey white light and we just have to accept our children the way they are – it's the world that won't accept them, or take care of them after I am gone. My son will never function in the world we live in, and I am constantly trying to find the best place for him to fit.
I love my son, but yes, his autism is similar to a death sentence – without me, there would be no one willing to take care of him, and maybe it wouldn't be actual death, but he would be placed in an institution & drugged into compliance, so don't you EVER dare to tell me to stop whining & accept responsibility. This is my place to vent, and to find support & sympathy, well deserved and definitely needed, and if you really want to know what severe autism is like, you come on over & babysit for a couple hours. You could use the eye opener, and I could use the break.