My son is autistic and was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Autism Warrior Moms, a self styled group of shitty mothers of autistic children, like to tell anyone they can force to listen that kids like ours are particular burdens and we are saints for not abandoning them. They’re a bunch of whiners.
When I express how much I like my child and enjoy his company, such moms (and the smaller number of such dads) conclude my son must not really be disabled. They’ve established a false dichotomy where a child is either profoundly disabled or lovable, never both. My child is hyperactive. He has developmental delays. He is susceptible to sensory overload and meltdowns. He is also the coolest kid I know, by a Grand Canyon sized margin.
He’s funny and kind and inventive. He writes surreal jokes and cheesy puns and action adventure stories about monsters fighting for social justice. He cares about people and never passes a homeless person without offering them help. He’s a natural born activist who is passionate about children’s suffrage.
He’s also weird, thank heavens. I have a crystal clear memory of my teen self riding a yellow school bus and suddenly being hit with the worry I might someday have a preppy child. What if they were so well adjusted they couldn’t relate to me? What if they were normal? This genuine concern stayed with me until motherhood began.
I can’t understand these “warrior moms” who are disappointed with the child God or Nature or adoption gave them. I truly believe I have the greatest kid, with maybe even a dash of pity for all other parents in the world (including parents of abled children) because their child is a smidge less amazing than mine. I didn’t stop at one child because I was afraid I’d have another like him. I stopped because I already got it right the first time.
But I would hope every parent felt this way, felt their beloved child was the best and pitied other parents for not being so blessed. I would hope every child was their parents’ favorite person. I can’t sympathize with parents who are disappointed with their baby, who want to change their children with compliance training and bleach enemas, who want to crush their baby’s spirit. I can’t consider their feelings. I’m too worried for their babies.