I was getting depressed for a minute. This is a bad time of year for me, its IEP time....and this year I should have been signing my son up for Kindergarten. So with my mind in that yucky place, the place where i go through a million pages of paper work that point out all of my sons deficiencies with a few "he's such a sweet happy boy"s thrown in. I read another blog post about our kids having issues playing sports and how mothers of typical kids shouldn't complain because our kids can't play team sports. Then I came upon this......
Then I snapped out of it. I suppose this photo was made for shock value. It was made to freak people into awareness. I'm not a big fan of freaking people out, because I DON'T like being freaked out.
My son CAN play team sports, he plays sports with his fellow ASD friends. Is it as fluid and organized as typical soccer....NO....but hes gaining social skills and there is no one to giggle at him when he runs to the wrong goal. My neighbors son who is on the spectrum is 9.....and guess what, he plays football with typical kids. Here is a secret, I am "typical" and I am terrible at sports. My sport was swimming.....I was on swim team , which is an isolating sport. My event was the 500, 20 laps, 7+minutes to be alone with my thoughts. My son could have been born typical and STILL been crappy at teams sports, just like his mama. :)
As for the photo....Most people will not achieve their dream or traveling the world because of finances and Life not Autism. Many typical children won't live independently because its easier to live with mom and dad not because of Autism. Many will not serve their country because they don't believe in war not Autism. Many will not be leaders because honestly, being a follower is easier not because of Autism. Some men will not fall in love, get married or raise kids because they like the bachelor lifestyle (that our culture glorifies) not because of Autism.
I could have birthed a child who was completely typical and he too could have never done any of the above. There is no point for me to be sitting here worrying about what he wont do. I will never be helping my son on focusing on what he may not do.
Typical Frankie could have been great at sports, done to a D1 school for football and injured himself his first year. He could have then decided to pursue a career in rap while living in my basement. As his career didn't flourish and he worked at the bank near by he would have met several girls at the club and decided living the playa lifestyle was the way to go. He would go on to make decent money at the bank but never chose management because there is too much stress and just sitting back collecting money is easier. He would toy with the idea of buying a house and then realizes with taxes being about 10k a year and houses averaging 400k in our area he may as well stay in the one bedroom apartment in my basement. At 50 he will find a woman to be his old age companion but still refuses to get married. They stay in our house because at that point we will be in our 70's and we need some help.........
Frankie with Autism got thousands of hours of therapy in his first years of life. He had to struggle a little harder to socialize and be on par with the rest of his peers. In HS he had a few friends and excelled in academics. He went to college and chose a career path where he could work and excel and his job was not socially centered, more technical. He became a leader in his field because of his intelligence, not so much social skills. He marries a childhood friend who also has ASD, they understand each other and have similar issues. They have children who they monitor closely (maybe choose not to vaccinate or feed Gluten too lol) and they make enough money to put me and my husband in a fancy assisted living situation and never have to move back in ;)
Neither one of these might happen, but the truth is my sons Autism won't define his life. I can't sit here and worry about the future, I need to be here for my son today. I don't think scaring people about Autism is the way to get our voices heard. It was because of those shock tactics that when i realized my son had Autism I sobbed and made the assumption he would never speak (we see that didn't happen). I'm done comparing myself to other moms and I'm done comparing my son to other kids, he is Frankie, plain and simple, he will find his way in life and I will love whatever path he takes.