In my interview with the local TV station a few weeks ago, I was asked a lot of questions that wasn't aired. One of the questions from the reporter was, "If you could change your boys and take away autism, would you?" The reporter went on to tell me that he knew a few sets of parents with a child with autism and every parent that has a child with severe autism always said yes and parents with a child with mild autism often answered no and yes. He wanted to know my take on that question. I was glad that he asked me because that question has been very controversial in the special needs world, depending on the severity of the person with the disability.
So...you wanna know my answer?!?!! My answer is yes! Yes I would change my boys and take away their autism if I could. It doesn't mean that I don't love them.....it doesn't mean that I don't love the way they are, etc. What it means is this......If I had the chance to not make Trenton suffer why wouldn't I?!? If I could make him speak and not be trapped in his body, well heck yes I would take autism away. If I could make him feel his body like a neurotypical person...of course I would change it. I'm not sure what parent would choose to have their child suffer if they didn't have to. Now, I know it is just a hypothetical question and will never be a real option. However, if I could take away their challenges I would in a heartbeat.
I look at Trenton and Andrew and I see so much more than autism each and every day. Autism is their challenge in this world. I actually look at them and see their soul daily. If I could make Trenton's sensory problems disappear...if I could make him communicate.. if I could take away Andrew's challenges, I would in a heartbeat!
I would guarantee that if anyone witnessed or just walked in my shoes for that matter the past few days, they would answer that question exactly like I did. It was a rough week on so many levels last week and especially the weekend. I was telling my mother today that I didn't feel like a parent. Instead, I feel like a 24/ 7 special education teacher/therapist/coach/ anything besides a parent. Of course, my mother reminded me that I was a parent as well and I obviously know that I am. However, parents of children with severe autism have to be teaching every minute. Oh what I would do if I had just one day....just one day where I could just relax and snuggle on the couch with Trenton and watch a Disney movie or just take him out in public without the autism struggles. Oh what I would do if I could say, "Trenton it's bed time." and he goes to bed. Oh what I would do if I could say, "Boys why don't you play in your rooms while I get dinner made." Instead, of turning my back for one second to find poop all over my living room walls or to find Trenton standing on the kitchen counter opening the cabinets, etc.
It is very hard to put in words the stress of taking care of a child with a disability who can't be by themselves at all...not even for 10 seconds. Sadly, he is only going to keep on getting bigger and stronger and that all brings totally new challenges that I am not ready for.
So yes....I would take away the autism if I could! I've never met a child with a physical disability that said they would prefer their child to be in a wheelchair rather than to walk. I've never met a person with cancer that said they would rather have cancer than not to have cancer.
Autism is very hard but loving them is so easy!