A Letter to Parents of Children With Autism, From an Autistic Adult
Dear parents of children on the autism spectrum,
I’m an adult who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and I’m one of the many autistic adults who would love to help you understand your children, if you will let us. There’s a lot of emotion surrounding autism and parenting in general, and I will be the first to admit I don’t have the perspective of a parent. But I do have the perspective of growing up as the weird kid who’s having a lot of difficulty with ordinary things.
I do a lot of reading both in the autistic community and parenting communities. I see a lot of vehemence from some of you about us not being like your children and often a rejection when we offer advice. I feel this is partly due to said advice being offered in a way that causes parents to feel attacked, as though their worthiness as a parent is under the microscope. Sometimes this is the case, as autistic adults can have a lot of built-up hurt from a lifetime of being treated in awful ways for their differences; it can leak out over emotional topics. Often it can be a matter of incorrect tone in conversation because autistic people can be blunt and we have trouble modulating this. However it may seem from the outside, we’re motivated to want the best for autistic children because they’re a part of our tribe, and how you treat autistic adults today is how your children will be treated by society in the future.