a love letter

awesome

{image is a graphic reading, “Hey, you. You’re awesome. Yes, you.”}

Yesterday, I posted a plea on Facebook. A friend of a friend’s son (we’re all family around here, so that’s close enough), needed help. Apparently, members of her family have been giving her Autistic son a really hard time. They ask him questions like, “Why do you always create problems?” and insinuate to her that what he really needs is some good old-fashioned discipline. (‘Cause, ya know, punishing the neurology out of a kid works every time.*)

The mom and her son typically end up leaving, but not before the damage is done.

While the mom was looking for resources to help her to explain her son’s behavior to these family members, my dear, beautiful friend, Morénike took a different tack. She decided that it was more important to explain their behavior to him. And, not that it matters, but I think she couldn’t possibly have been more right.

Even better, she generously offered to let me share her letter to him here.

Please, if you or your kids are in a similar situation, listen to her words. And pass them on to whomever needs to hear them. Like, ya know, everyone.

Thank you, Morénike. This is perfect.

My dear Autistic brother,

It seems that there are some members of your family who are having a hard time understanding you. Not only that, but the way they are sharing their feelings about things about you that are different from others isn’t the best or nicest way for them to talk about it. I am so sorry that the things they are saying are hurtful. I would also be hurt and bothered by what they are saying.

It might not seem like it, but they are the ones who are wrong, NOT you. No one should talk to you or about you that way, even if they are older than you. Not even people who care about you, like family and friends. You should be treated respectfully. People who are different aren’t “creating problems” or messing things up. The REAL “problem” is that things in life aren’t set up in a way that everyone is comfortable, not just certain people.

My husband is 6 feet 5 inches tall. He cannot comfortably sit in the economy (coach) class seats of a plane. When we get rental cars, he has to pay extra for cars because he can’t use the economy and other small-sized rental cars that cost less. He purchases a lot of his clothes at Big and Tall stores because of his long legs. He needs different things because of his height. That’s not anything wrong or anyone’s fault. That’s just the way he is.

I am Autistic, like you. Certain noises, smells, textures, etc bother me while others bring me a joy. I am really great at certain things and not great at other things. I am unique. I might be different than a lot of people I am around, but those people aren’t better than me. There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with YOU; don’t ever let anyone make you feel that there is.

It takes a brave and smart person to be able to know when a situation is too much for you and to get out of it. I am glad that when things aren’t going well you have a way of letting your mom know you are uncomfortable and she understands that it might be time to leave. You are doing the right things you need to do to take care of yourself and I am proud of you. Always give yourself some time and a place to help yourself out to stim to relax or to have some quiet time away from people, or whatever works for you. It sounds like your mom loves you a lot and is there to help you if you need her too! That’s a great thing.

Hang in there, little brother; it does get better. Many of us are fighting to try to make things better for you, and for ourselves and people like all of us.

Sending you a big smile,

Morénike

http://whoneedsnormalcy.blogspot.com/

Ed note: The overwhelming consensus from my adult Autistic friends was this: It is a parent’s responsibility to protect our children from people like this until (if ever) they’re ready to accept them. There is far, far more damage done to a child’s psyche from those who refuse to understand than could ever be caused by a lack of contact with the same. 

* sarcasm

10 thoughts on “a love letter

  1. Pingback: Open Letter to the Daughter of Bob and Suzanne Wright |

  2. Pingback: Open Letter To the Daughter of Bob & Suzanne Wright #boycottautismspeaks | Crusading Against Hate: Why I #BoycottAutismspeaks

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