Wednesday, 6 November 2013
An open letter to 'Society.'
My son, Caidan, is autistic. I have long since accepted this and embraced it. His autism is as much a part of him as his brown hair. As much a part of him as his laugh. As much a part of him as his little toe which has no nail on it. Yes, there are other facets to Caidan that are not autism, but without autism he would be an entirely different child. I don't want an entirely different child, I want Caidan as Caidan is supposed to be and he is supposed to be autistic.
I really do not care whether Caidan's stimming is deemed as not 'socially acceptable.' I really do not care if his squealing in Morrison's bothers other people. I really do not care if his hand flapping and jumping up and down in Matalan bothers other people. Caidan is autistic, it is what he does.
What I do bother about is the fact that society (in general and not necessarily individually) expects my son to change his behaviours so that society doesn't feel uncomfortable. That bothers me a lot.
My son is autistic. 1 in 100 people in the UK are autistic. I say it is time SOCIETY changed it's behaviour.
Difference should not be frowned upon, nor mocked and it is certainly nothing to be scared of.
Everyone is different. Who says what 'normal' is supposed to be anyway? I have my own quirks and little idiosyncrasies, just as everyone has, and mine are not the same as yours, are they? So that means we are ALL different. So what is this 'normal' that society expects my son to conform to?
My son is autistic. I am determined that he fulfils his huge potential and I will do all I can to help him do so. What I WILL NOT do, is try and 'normalise' him just so society can feel better. Society sucks, let me tell you. Society is exclusive and inward looking. Society needs to buck up it's ideas and move into the 21st Century.
My son is autistic. I will not change him just to accommodate others feelings and sensitivity.
My son is autistic and society is just going to have to learn to deal with that.
I am not going to change my son for the world, but I am sure as hell going to try and change the world for my son and I will continue to do so until my last breath.
And you, Society, are just going to have to learn to deal with that too.