Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Autism is NOT a Curse

Elliott (age 6 & autistic) I have been following a group on facebook about autism. I am LIVID! These people seem to believe that Autism is a curse, causing them great suffering...then the blame game kicks in. "I blame the pharmaceutical companies"..."I blame the doctors"...and my favorite comment thus far, "I hate those God people who think their children are a gift from God...God wouldn't give a child autism", yada, yada, yada...they see their children as "suffering", really?

Seriously, what is wrong with these parents? My children ARE a gift from God! I have never looked at my children's autism as a curse! I have realized over the last few days that so many parents feel that way, and it's so sad. How can they NOT see the many blessings? Elliott, my 6 year old, is autistic. He smiles more than my non-autistic children do! While he is stimming, flapping his arms, clapping his hands together, he is usually laughing and smiling while doing this. Suffering? I think not. My 18 year old, Kevin, who is also autistic, is the most caring kid in the house! (He did have a difficult childhood, but it is because of misdiagnosis for his first 12 years...that story will be posted soon) Once he was given the proper diagnosis, he THRIVED!

Me & Kevin (18 & autistic)

I find it very disturbing that these "activist parents" spend more time blaming and "walking for a cure" than they do on caring for and understanding their own children. They spend all of their energy fighting with others about how autism is BAD instead of using that energy in finding the strengths in their own children and "going with it"

Don't get me wrong. I am all about educating people and spreading awareness about Autism, part of the reason I started this blog...but I am seeing so much negative energy being spent on blaming and feeling sorry for themselves and not enough positive energy spent on the children. It burns me!

Sorry for the vent. My children ARE a gift from God. EVEN my autistic children. Each and every one has a purpose, and we may not know what the purpose is for a long time...but I KNOW God has His arms around them and won't let them fall. Stay positive! Focus on their strengths! Be a parent first, an activist second. God doesn't make mistakes, and he certainly didn't make a mistake when forming my beautiful children!

Elliott stimming in the chair!


  1. I definitely agree! I have loved every single child with autism that I have worked with. They taught me how to see the world from a new perspective, and to take the time to pay attention to the smaller things in life.

  2. I was really upset reading those comments today. I try to stay out of silly debates, but this one got the best of me. The mom's were pitiful. Yes, it's hard to live with...especially as a parent, but my goodness, to call them "cursed" is just wrong. One person went as far as to say God didn't create their child, the devil did. THAT is sad. That someone truly believes God would give the devil THAT kind of power is beyond me. Of course God challenges us, but to say your child was created from something other than God...that was a jaw dropping moment.

  3. I LOVE this post! Children with autism are my favorite to work with!
    Visiting from Catholic Mothers Online! :)

  4. I have to agree completely with everything you have said! My 12 year old autistic son is the most easy going of all my kids. Sure, it was work in the early years, but man, what a kick in the pants he is now! I laugh daily with him! He doesn't converse well, but he communicates in his own way and has a very wry sense of humor. Once, when I was having a Skype phone call with his adult sister who had just given birth to her second child and was, my son walked by the screen, took a look at my daughter spilling out of her shirt (she never manages to find shirts that conceal the cleavage) and said, "Hey, got milk?" I laughed so hard, I wet myself!

    I am in a doctoral program for clinical psychology (last semester....woo hoo!) and I am doing this whole subject of being Catholic and autism for my dissertation. I need participants, both parents and autistic adults. If you or Kevin would like to participate, it begins in December. I will examine ways we can integrate the autistic culture into the Mass and the Church at large. If you would like to participate, or if you know of any Catholic parents of autistic kids who would like to participate, please email me at mtaheny1atgmaildotcom.

    God bless!