Often when we talk about our lives with Autism we keep it sunny. We try to show the lighter side. We are hesitant to share the dark moments, the negativity, the trials, the tribulations, the tears.
We are afraid.
We feel hopeless.
We don't want the "stigma."
The reality is, we face some pretty hard stuff with our kiddos.
We deal with self-injurious behaviors. We deal with aggression. We deal with meltdowns. We get hit, punched, bruised, and cry. Sometimes it's a rare occurrence. Sometimes, it can be daily.
It isn't often that anyone speaks about it. Often, when someone does they are criticized and called horrible parents. Those that judge are those who have no idea. They have no experience. They have no understanding. Or, if they have kiddos on the spectrum, they are in a deep state of denial that they cannot possibly admit that they sometimes feel like failures. That they too, do these things and feel what they feel. No one wants to admit that it can happen to them.
We try to know all the answers. We pretend. We fight. We put up a strong front.
I don't care who you are. Mom. Dad. Grandma. Grandpa. Aunt. Uncle. Sibling. Friend. You do it too.
This is the voice that is lost. This is what we are missing. This is the part of our journey through the adventure of life that can help others not feel like an island.
Don't get me wrong here, though. Are things often fantastic? Yes. Do we love our children unconditionally? Yes. Do we accept them and love them as they are for all their quirks and hardships? You betcha. Would we change them? In my case, absolutely not.
But surely the world cannot expect that our children do not misbehave. That they do not have meltdowns (not the same as tantrums!). That they do not have off moments.
That would be as lacking as the assumption that they are not loving, fun, enjoyable, creative, little human beings with a ton of love and happiness to share.
My son loves to be happy. He strives to please. He's very creative. He's even working on the 4th book in his little chapter book series. He is the most loving child I know. He wants to snuggle, play, dote on the cats, and create. He is a great inventor after all. :)
But even we have our off moments. Our not so sunny days. It would be wrong to deny us that admission. It would be wrong to judge us differently or more harshly as a result of it. We aren't any different. We just have different trials.
We adjust. We adapt. We overcome.