Everyone who has lived with Autism, either through themselves or through a loved one (or both), knows there are good days and there are bad days. There are things that will make you laugh, smile, and "stop and smell the roses. And then there are the things that make you scream, cry, and want to hide under a rock.
Today was full of the latter sadly... It had a few bright spots too but it
was definitely one of our harder days.
A small debate has been going on for the last couple of days through another blog I follow (the blogger didn't mean to start it but one never-the-less did start) about the hardships Autism can and does bring and whether or not, if given the ability and chance to, we the parents of autistic children would change that for them and/or take the autism away. I am usually kind of in the middle on this. I can see the silver linings of Autism but I definitely can also see the hardships and pain. Considering David is borderline severe and the doctors are now suspecting that Joshua will be near the same diagnosis as well, I am sure a lot can understand where I am coming from when I say that. That being said, days like today (and the last few actually) tend to cause me to lean greatly to one side....
Would I change David if I could? Would I take the chance, if given one, to give David back his voice, take away his self mutilation and viloence, calm his anxieties and overloads so he could eat his dinner in peace and play with his brother without ending up in a meltdown? Would I take away the social awkwardness and uneasyness that makes him the target of bullies on the playgrounds and gets him hit and beat by kids whose parents don't give a care in the world until he finally hits back? Would I bring back his magnetic charisma that pretty much had him surrounded by friends and family and even friendly strangers when he was little because he was just that lovable, social, and sweet? Would I trade in all the problems with bolting and meltdowns and strip shows that cause cruel neighbors and on-lookers to attack, threaten, yell, and abuse him and me?
Would I take away his struggles with communication and sensory processing that led to him being abused and tortured at school because he couldn't handle everything and couldn't fit into their neat little "box" exactly like they wanted him to? Would I take away all the times he was hurt, frightened, overwhelmed, or attacked and couldn't tell me which led to a delay in me being able to find out what was going on so I could help him?
Would I change the fact that so far my best resource yet to be able to help him just simply be a kid without having to worry for his safety and well being due to either himself or others, is to fight for a service dog to help look after him and defend/protect him and help me know when problems are arising sooner than I would be able to tell on my own so that I could do something about them? Would I change the fact that all though my son is going to get his wish to have his own dog, that his dog can't just be the cute, friendly mutt we all fell in love with at the nearest pound and get to take home to love and play with like "normal" kids would get to do? Or that his dog would have to be highly and specifically trained, will take over a year and a half to get, and will cost over $18,000 when it's all said and done because of all the extra breeding, training, behaviour lessons, and strength training that will be needed simply so the dog can do it's job of protecting my son and help keep him safe and under control if he starts to wig out again or bolt? And survive with sanity intact after doing so day in and day out?
YES! Yes I would! I would change all that for David in a heartbeat. I long to be able to give him a safe life full of friends and happiness, and the ability to thrive. I would give just about anything to offer him a way to express himself more clearly and be discriminated against and attacked less severely/frequently. And even with the autism here to stay, I still fight everyday to give him those things in spite of the battle I have to wage in order to do so.
Thanks for allowing me the chance and freedom to vent. I am sorry if I offended anyone, but this is honestly what I face a lot of the times and some days it just happens to hit harder at the heart than others...
Thank-you for reading. Feel free to leave comments if you want. Even if you don't agree.
God bless and good night...