This blog affords me a bully pulpit and today I’d like to use to focus on an issue close to my heart.
As a mother of two children with disabilities, I was spitting mad when I read the Facebook post above.I have some advice for Gina Crosley-Corcoran, who wrote it:
Your children do not exist to make you look good to the world, and their struggles are not an opportunity for you to publicly feel sorry for yourself while violating their privacy.
Educate yourself about Asperger’s. Violent behavior is NOT a symptom of Asperger’s, but frustration is. If you had to navigate the world without being able to understand the social cues that everyone else understands so easily, you might be frustrated, too.
Your “Aspie son” is NOT his disability and should not be identified as if his disability were the most salient fact about him. He is your son and like all your children, he deserves your love, respect and best efforts to help him reach his full potential.
The next time you get the impulse to publicly complain about your child’s disability, exercise the control you find so lacking in him and stop yourself.
Try a little thought experiment. Consider how my post makes you feel. Probably not very happy, even though I am a stranger with whom you have no personal relationship. Now extrapolate to your son. You are the center of his world, the object of his love, his most important source of approval and support. How much worse will he feel when he eventually reads your scathing condemnation of him?
A child’s love and trust is a very precious thing. Don’t abuse it. And, please, please, please do not confuse your child with his disability. If you are worn down by coping with it, get psychological help for yourself, but don’t give into the impulse to soothe yourself by publicly humiliating him.