Monday, February 2, 2009

It Takes More than a Village

Major brain structures implicated in autism.Image via Wikipedia

Parents need to ask for help, says the New York Times, because it may not take a village to raise a child, but it does take help.

If that child has autism, it takes a small country. Yet who is harder to help than a parent whose child is loud, inappropriate, strange, repetitive; who seems just plain bad. Which leads to the assumption that said child's parent is bad.

That's unhelpful. Yes, our children are challenging. We live with them 24/7 so we know how challenging they are 24/7. We are doing our level best to love them and teach them and help them cope with their challenges, and many of them are as challenged as someone in a wheelchair, for whom we have ramps and push-button doors. Our kids need social ramps and push-button doors. And their parents need help.

P.S. The most helpful person in my life is herself the parent of three children with special needs, one with Asperger's, two bipolar.

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