Dear Autism Parents/Neurodiversity Critics:

Each time I am verbally bashed by critics of the autism/neurodiversity movement, I close my eyes & see my mother’s smiling face. My mother accepts me for who I am; she “gets me” & that means everything! I often wonder if the autism/anti-neurodiversity parent activists who choose to criticize and verbally attack me for who I am realize that I am someone’s daughter? Have these critics stopped to realize that I am exactly who their child will be one day….an adult with ASD?

I know that many of you who criticize the autism/neurodiversity movement are responding inappropriately due to the anxiety you have about the diagnosis of your child, and the overwhelming fear of not knowing what the future holds for your little ones. Not to mention the stresses of today, right? I mean come on, the meltdowns alone are oftentimes unmanageable, and the constant screaming from your spectrum child can be Hades, right? (at least that’s what I’ve heard some of you say – and guess what, my mother said the same thing!) > yes, I understand!

I’ve got an idea: before deciding to take your anger out on those of us who are simply advocating for ourselves by educating our communities about the truths pertaining to ASD’s, please remember this:

I am an adult on the autism spectrum. I am not 5 – I am 45. Do you really believe that because I’ve been on this planet for more than 40 years longer than your children, I have matured and embraced my neurodiversity, and because I do not behave like a your pre-schooler, then somehow I am automatically and instantaneously not on the autism spectrum? Are you serious?

Do you assume my mother did not have the same challenges with me when I was 5 years old that you are currently experiencing with your child? Do you assume that my mother couldn’t possibly understand how it is to be you? Do you assume this purely on the basis that I have a high functioning form of autism (ie: Asperger’s Syndrome.)

My mother had it just as hard as you, and if you want to get down to the nitty gritty, well wrap your brain around this: my mother was parenting a child on the autism spectrum before there was even an available diagnosis in the DSM IV for Asperger’s Syndrome. My mother was parenting me with zero supports in the schools and communities.

Honestly, this conversation gets exhausting sometimes, so I’m going to make this short & sweet for all the autism/neurodiversity critics: My mother is on facebook, twitter, and myspace. She supports all my advocacy & would never think of treating any of your children with the disrespect you have chosen to bash her child with! Ask my mother yourself. Email me & I will send you her URL contact information – she will be happy to discuss Autism Spectrum Truths/Neurodiversity.)

And to my mother, I say this: Will I ever be able to express to you how grateful I am for all your support? Will I ever be able to fully appreciate the challenges & fears you experienced when I was a little girl? Will I ever grasp the gravity of your frustrations, and constant fears when you were walking knee deep in the unknowing of it all? How many tears did you cry when you did not understand why I struggled at the slightest touch, or when I screamed non-stop even when you attempted to comfort me; and how can we forget my almighty meltdowns!

Mother, there are no words to express the love and gratitude that I feel in my heart for the support and acceptance you continue to give me each day. Will you ever know the warmth I feel in my soul, and the happy tears I cry as I drift off to sleep each night, because my heart is overcome with the knowledge that I have your acceptance, love, and support in all that I do as a proud member of the Autism/Neurodiversity Movement.

Mother, if the autism/neurodiversity critics have taught me anything, they have surely taught me this: I hit the jackpot on the day I was born to you. I was blessed beyond my wildest dreams to have been born your daughter. Never will I take for granted these eternal blessings…..I love you mother ♥

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