Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why I Chose Autism REALITY As My Social Media Name

The picture above, for those visiting my blog for the first time, is my son Conor now 17+ years old.  I love him dearly and he brings great joy into my life every day.  He is also severely autistic with severe cognitive challenges (intellectual disability) and like many with those characteristics he also suffers from epileptic seizures.  As great a joy as he is he also engages in acts of self aggression and suffers from sensory challenges, meltdowns and obsessively repetitive behaviors that are very disruptive in themselves.  

For Conor his autism is not a joy, a blessing, a superior ability or a different way of thinking.  It is a serious disability, a disorder,  and his intellectual disability and epileptic seizures are not "co-incidences" or "co-morbidities". They are part  of his reality, a unified part of his reality, together they limit his life expectancy. Those are all facts that I have been determined to face throughout his life so that I do not do him a disservice.

I will never run from Conor's reality because to do so, as it would for an obvious, physical disability, could be harmful to him.  I have chosen long ago not to embrace the non evidence based belief that if I only pretend that autism is a blessing that somehow that belief will magically transform reality. 

I have helped Conor by being part of his life and enjoying his company every single day and will do so as long as I live. I have tried to help my son, and others in my province and country who suffer as he does, through determined advocacy, by  facing reality head on. And I will continue to do so as long as I live.  Others can choose political correctness and feel good cliches. I will continue to deal with autism ... reality ... and love my son as I do.


Kim Pomares said...

I am with you, but I think that most parents who believe in the "joy, blessing, superior ability or different way of thinking" are just dealing with fewer co-morbidities as you put them and cope better by not only accepting but "embracing" their child's differences.

Just a thought, because I am an outsider. I have 5 children and all of them are happy, confident, balanced kids. I think they call them neurotypical kids. That's the politically correct name for what they have.. or don't have. :-)

Here is an extra dose of courage coming your way from Okotoks, AB.

Gina said...

My son is cute and quirky.I love him to pieces. Amazingly he continues to emerge from Autism more each year. He is a blessing, but his vaccine injury(autism) is not.Greetings from Nova Scotia !!

H L Doherty said...

Thank you Kim. People definitely have to make their own choices about how to deal with their child's disorder if they have one.

H L Doherty said...

Thanks for visiting my site and commenting Gina. Glad your son his doing well. I am originally from Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, Waterville, where my folks live today.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kim. The parents who think autism is just simply wonderful are typically the ones who have kids who are barely on the spectrum. Their kids are typically fully verbal, have little to no behaviors and the behaviors they do have are very manageable. I am so tired of seeing some of these parents preaching on their blogs funny story after story of their "wonderful autistic kids" when in reality these kids are pretty close to typical. (currently Stimeyland and Diary of A Mom have to be the most nauseating in this area.) These parents really have NO clue what severe autism entails.