Monday, January 20, 2014

The Paradox


noun \ˈper-ə-ˌdäks, ˈpa-rə-\
: something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible
: someone who does two things that seem to be opposite to each other or who has qualities that are opposite
: a statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true

Its been a while since I wrote a personal post. But my mind woke up racing and I just had to share. This journey I am on parenting my boys is an amazing one. Filled with ups, downs, and everything in between. From the trials of my "neurotypical* " thirteen old boy, to the paradox filled world of my eleven year old with Autism.  I learn so much about not only them, but myself along the way.

The biggest thing I have learned is that Autism is the text book example of a paradox.

Dale. My funny, precocious, and spirited eleven year old. He loves the Patriots and Celtics. He loves his cows, and helping Farmer Neil in the milking parlor, and all around the farm for that matter. He loves his cats. His tractors, and shooting BB guns with his dad and brother. He loves wrestling(cringe) and all things a typical country boy of eleven does.

The paradox:

He gets so overstimulated he hides in his room and rocks. He talks to himself, loves to color, blow bubbles, and play Pop the Pig. He perseverates words in a attempt to self sooth. He often can't tell me what hurts, what's bothering him, or why he is so anxious. And that causes him to melt down. A melt down that takes his whole body and spirit. A melt down that rocks our whole world as a family and changes from moment to moment. He is routine driven. Change will throw him into a tail spin. Anger and yelling will come out with no warning. My loving, sweet  boy changes to someone ready to strike.

In those moments I try so hard to maintain my calm. To be the voice of reason and sooth him the best I can. In those moments I sometimes fail. I sometimes react badly. It all depends on the day I am having,

For me my boys are my world. Literally. And some days that is damn hard. To have nothing outside these walls to look forward to. And other days, I think how lucky I am to be able to share their days and their trials. To not miss anything.

So living in a constant paradox gives me strength, and pain. Gives me a look at both sides of the coin.

The bigger paradox is that Autism speaks would have you believe that my son's ASD is something that needs to be cured. An inherit part of him that should be removed. But really, it is what makes him uniquely him. It's what allows him to tap into things others walk right by. It allows him to see life without a filter. To experience things on a level unencumbered with convention.

I take big issues with their latest campaigns and PSAs that have parents seeking to "cure" their child. For some that may be the goal.

My goal is to create a world as varied and accommodating as the number of people in it. A world where the paradox is accepted, and even lifted as example. For the road we travel is some days really ass kicking hard. But other days, other days it is heart wrenchingly beautiful. I don't want my son to fear or be ashamed of the word Autism. I want him to love himself for all that makes him different. It pains me to think that he would think of himself as something that needs to be cured.

So I beg Autism Speaks to really think hard about the kind of message they send. It might be coming from a good intention, but sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Editors Note:
*Neurotypical (NT) is a term coined in the autistic community as a label for people who are not on the autism spectrum.[1] However, the term eventually became used for anyone who does not have atypical neurology, in other words, anyone who does not have autism, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, bipolar disorder, or ADD/ADHD, and has been replaced by some with 'allistic', which has the same meaning as 'neurotypical' originally did. [2] The concept was later adopted by both the neurodiversity movement and the scientific community.


  1. Can I just say that god has given you a beautiful son to love and nurture and to use your voice to guide him through life and help others understand that one hurdle does not make him different it makes him awesome. And in those times of chaos could come some of your greatest ideas and thoughts . God gives special children to special people and only those he trusts with the greatest of his creations :) You are very blessed. :) Don't ever look for a cure look for the greatness that he brings. :) Keep smiling and keep on being great

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Kathryn. You totally just made my day. :) He is my ray of sunshine, both my boys are. And I will fight til my dying breath for them

  2. You know I understand what you and your son are going through, my friend. Some days are really tough. Others not so much. But at the core of the paradox you speak of is love. That love will get you and your son to happier places.

    I love you both.