This op-ed piece today in the NYT wonderfully describes what I have been irked about recently: Why are these parents so worried about their children?
One parent wrote a long description of her 16-year-old son’s “disability” and wondered why he was so different from other autistics. He was gifted, able to focus, brilliant in school, able to deal with his sensory issues, beloved by teachers and students alike; in short, probably NOT autistic!
I would have been diagnosed with autism had I been born under the current system and the label might have had a devastating effect on my life. I did not speak until I was 3 years old, had few friends, had to learn how to relate to others in a compassionate way (self-taught). If you do not think this to be true, ask my best friend from infancy who used to abandon me frequently because I did not play well with others.
I always want to bring these mothers to my house and show them what a true disability is; but, I am sure that they would not listen or see how perfect their son or daughter really is. Someone has convinced them that there is a problem and that all resources must be mobilized for their child. Tiger mothers, helicopter parents, there are numerous tags for todays parents.
I do empathize with these parents who are worried about their children; I know that, like me, they just want their child to be happy and fulfilled.
Do we all want perfection? I do not; I prefer my humanity to be flawed and fascinating.