Saturday, March 01, 2008

Does This Look Like "suffering"?

People read articles and watch TV shows where they always tell you that the individual "suffers" from autism. Yes, most people who are not on the spectrum or somehow involved otherwise, would say that this wording is appropriate. But let us reconsider what we think of in terms of "suffering" here. I realize that many individuals in the past and present DO suffer-but is it from their hands or the hands of others? Those institutionalized in years past would clearly fit the description of "suffering", but what would their lives have been like had they had the proper intervention and kept at home? That is not the face of autism today my friends. The word "suffering" is attached to autism not by auties themselves; but by us so called "neuro-typicals". We cannot fathom being happy or complete any other way-just the way most autistic people cannot fathom being any different. When I look at Nick, I do not see someone who is "suffering". Some might say "Well, he can't talk-so how do you know?" No, he CAN talk-just not always verbally. Look at his smile; he can laugh-and does so quite a bit. When he has fun-he jibber jabbers non stop in his happy tone of voice. For the most part Nick is like any other 4 yr old- He loves playing games like chase and peek-a-boo He likes waffles and yogurt He likes applejuice-and will even tell you "I want juice" He loves bathtime He runs the other way when it is time for bed He likes going to the park He loves-yes, he is autistic AND shows affection. He lives in a home where he is loved, he is happy, healthy, and is very much a treasured member of our family. So please, save the word "Suffering" for those who are truly doing so. Nick, as well as most people on the spectrum, do not think they are "Suffering" in any way.