Autism blogger Lisa Jo Rudy once challenged parents to “quit autism for just one day.”
Your child with autism may always be autistic, but there are places and circumstances in which it either doesn’t matter – or in which your child’s special talents make autism irrelevant. Whether it’s at the beach, in the woods, at a concert, or creating a work of art – just for one day – go somewhere where autism doesn’t matter.
Just for one day, quit being the parent of a child with autism. And become just a plain, ordinary, loving, proud parent.
Everything I’ve learned about parenting an autistic child can be boiled down to an incredibly simply stated idea (provided to me by a fellow autism dad): Parenting is parenting.
My response to Lisa’s challenge reflects this attitude:
Just one day? Every day should be like that. At the very least, every day should start like that. You can’t always control how a day will end up, but only you can control how your day starts.
I am the parent of a trampolinist. I am the parent of a horse-back rider (equestrian?) I am the parent of two pianists. I am the parent of two high school students. I am the parent of two avid gamers. I am the parent of an autistic son and an NT son.
I am, to use your words, “just a plain, ordinary, loving, proud parent.”
No doubt parenting an autistic child can be hard. But don’t let that turn you into an “autism case manager”. Don’t let it stop you from being a parent. A plain, ordinary, loving, proud parent.