This one gets me.
Autism is a measurable neurological difference in brain development. Brain scans reveal that Autistic brains are physically different and react to external stimulus in different ways than “normal brains”. These differences are visible in behaviors from early childhood. (Mine were VERY visible from the beginning.)
Autism also seems to be genetic. Looking at my parents, grandparents, aunts, and cousins – I have NO doubt that this is true. I know this now, but I did not always think this way.
Maybe it was my Autistic perspective, but my family was fairly strict with manners and public behavior.
I could be wild like the Tasmanian Devil but I knew when to turn it off. I learned NOT to have outburst in stores and could hold myself together until I was alone or in the bathroom.
From my point of view, working SO hard to behave, other kids who could not hold it together looked like brats.
I know because I WAS this child in my teen years. I did not make my mother’s life easy, but she loved me and accepted me. That is what I needed more than anything.
We did not know I was Autistic and my own mother OFTEN called me a brat, spoiled, and other names. She did the best she could. It was all just a misunderstanding.
My mother did the best she could raising me. She worked hard, long, hours. We argued, but she loved me unconditionally. I am the result of amazing parenting.
Saying I am the result of bad parenting is just another insult – telling me I am defective and broken. Stop telling us that there is something wrong with us. We are different and that’s okay.
Kerry Magro is an AMAZING voice in the Autism community. He is helping to change the way the world sees Autism and Autistic people. Kerry had the following to say in a recent post on The Mighty.
It’s ridiculous to think “bad parenting” is a cause of autism. That should be the end of the conversation right there. But I do usually follow up these conversations after sharing about my personal experiences by saying the following:
“By being a champion to your child on the autism spectrum, you can make a difference in their lives.”
By showing your child unconditional love, learning more about autism and providing them with supports whenever possible, you can do wonderful things for your child. Advocate for them, and whenever someone says autism is “caused” by bad parenting, make sure to educate those around you about the harm of these misconceptions. And the next time that happens, you can use this quote from one of our leading autism advocates, Dr. Temple Grandin: “Autism is a neurological disorder. It’s not caused by bad parenting.”
Please read the full article here.