02 APRIL 2018
He is Quinn. He is Autistic. He is my boy.
On World Autism Awareness Day there’s only really one photo I could possibly share…. <3
And to say how proud I am of my family who have stepped up this week as part of the North East Autism Society’s campaign.
We’ve been videoed, interviewed, been on the radio and in the papers, received so many messages of support and thanks for our positive, but realistic, thoughts on autism and how it affects our family life.
Posting this on my blog seems relevant to the business because being self employed is becoming increasingly important to me as I wonder what secondary education might bring for Quinn; some home-schooling, more decompression days? Who knows. But knowing I don’t have to fight with a boss for days off is a good feeling, even now, years in advance. And because of this I’ve been wondering if parents of autistic kids could do with help to move from employment to self-employment – surely me and Kieran would be the dream team to provide that support!
As the National Autism Awareness Day draws to an end for 2018 these are my closing thoughts, thoughts which have been influenced by just this morning reading from parents who say they would cure their child of autism in a heartbeat…
Autism isn’t something to be feared or cured or dismissed – it’s something to love, support, cherish and make room in our hearts and lives for.
We know so little about our brains. But we do know now that autistic brains work faster than ours, so rather than trying to slow them down why don’t we just slow ourselves down a little. Rather than trying to make the autistic brain confirm to the norms of society why don’t we just let loose a little?
I wish people would stop using the term ‘fake-cure’ when discussing autism as it strongly suggests there is a ‘true or real cure’ out there and that is so misleading to our young, newly—diagnosed children. If they hear that they can be cured then surely that must mean there is something ‘wrong’ with them.
I heard a north east mum on the radio this week say of her young autistic son, “I knew something was wrong with him.” I was driving at the time and Quinn, my 8 year old autistic son was in the car with me. I said to him; “Quinn, you do know that there is nothing wrong with you? You do believe that? And believe that mummy and daddy believe it too?” To have to reassure my son that he is okay is not what I should to be doing; I want him to be proud of his autism and all of the wonderful things it makes him capable of.
There is no doubting that Quinn is different to his friends; but he is just that – different, and wonderful and quirky and funny.
There is no doubt that Quinn faces challenges and that day-to-day life can be tricky; but show me a parent who truly has an easy ride.
I do not always find parenting Quinn easy and there are days I feel like I got it totally wrong. Something tells me parents of non-autistic kids feel the same.
But in no way is my boy ‘wrong’ and he most certainly does not need cured.
To attempt to remove Quinn’s autism would be to snuff out his light, to remove the essence of what makes him Quinn.
I would be left with a shell; a compliant, placid, obedient, ‘good’ child who can communicate readily, look you in the eye and do ‘normal’ things – the child that society deems acceptable.
Maybe this is want some people really wanted from their child? A ‘good’ child, a child they weren’t ashamed of? I don’t really know; I’m not overly political, not great at debate – I just know I look at my eldest son and my heart beats so fast with how much I love him and how proud I am of him.
He is Quinn.
He is autistic.
He is my boy.
And he is so, so right.