I wrote a book (Autism By Hand)
about my daughter. Carrie was between the ages of five and seven when I started writing it, and she will turn ten this year. Since its publication in August 2011, a lot has happened, most of it great.
It still surprises me when I get a check each month to discover that people actually bought my book, and I’ve finally figured out why people buy it. It’s because there’s nothing else like it out there.
I make no apologies about the fact that I don’t think it’s amazing and awesome and wonderful that autism invaded my life in the form of trying to snatch my baby away from me. DO NOT confuse that with somehow thinking that I don’t find my DAUGHTER amazing and awesome and wonderful. I actually choke sometimes when I think of having to live life without her.
But that doesn’t mean I wish for even one second that she didn’t have to live her life this way.
However, there is a whole movement afoot to compensate for what autism can do to people by trying to make us think that we should be grateful for autism, that we should somehow celebrate its glories and we can look down on all those poor parents whose children had to be normal.
My book has gotten a few ugly reviews from people who have stated that I’m a monster for forcing her to wear her clothes and eat a variety of foods, and that I’m judgmental because I said she isn’t normal. Guess what? She’s not. I don’t love her any less than my “normal” daughter, but I also don’t love her more than her sister just for being autistic. She is who she is. but just like with our normal daughter, I work very hard to make her become all that she can.
If parents never tried to change their children for the better, we’d become a society of adults who cannot walk, use a toilet, or feed themselves. When we had children we decided to equip them for a full life as adults someday, which is precisely what I do for my daughter. I want her to grow up to have a job, so she has to learn to speak. I want her to get to go to college if that’s what she wants, so she has to learn to attend a school. I want her to stay out of jail, so she has to wear clothes.
Sadly, there are a number of people out there who have decided to hate me because I want my daughter to become someone instead of staying trapped inside of autism. I wish those people all the best in their lives and in their relationships with autistic people. My daughter and I will be over here, living our lives to the fullest.
You can find her on twitter.
Random literate scribbler. Staff writer for GoodEReader.com. AUTISM BY HAND and IT WAS LIKE THAT WHEN I FOUND IT available on Kindle & in print.Autism By Hand
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