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Loving Our Children: Focusing on the Cans!

September 9, 2010

I just finished reading Emily’s post, Asking an Aspie the Cure Question, and it’s a wonderful post about a controversial subject that has endless play in the online autism world: to cure or not to cure.

Here’s my response with some additions to her asking her aspie if he’d want a cure:

Hee, I love that you ended it on a laugh (and she did! and we can always use a giggle!). And I’m so very glad TH likes himself just as he is! :-)

I know that Bobby is self-aware enough to wish that he thought better, could successfully do school work so that he could have a diploma, but it doesn’t weigh on him, and he is happy with the life he has built. I have no doubt we could make him desperately unhappy if we focused on the not-ables, but we don’t. We focus on the cans.

There may be a lot of can’ts, but there’s a lot of cans and I’m proud of each and every new skill he masters. He is my bright boy and he shines.

My Lil, oh my Lil, she embraces her autism with pride and flair! She doesn’t have the significant difficulties that her brother does; she aspires to be Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.

She is bright, brilliant, stubborn, enthusiastic, delightful and a handful. She surprises me each day. Like a lily, her beauty astounds.


My girls, last May



My Rose, well, she’s quiet about her thoughts unless she’s in meltdown mode, but she does tell stories, shifting from one foot to the next in a never ending bounciness, complete with and-and-and-ands and so-so-so-so-sos so that whoever is listening is grinning at what an amazing little girl she is with her never-ending stories! Would she wish to be other than she is? I suspect not, not at all.

It’s my job as their mama to love them with all my heart while working with all my might to help them grow into warm, loving, and kind adults who give as much as they take, and ideally give more than they take. I know that my bright boy has grown into just that kind of man, despite all the not-ables. What more could I ask for?  He is living at his potential. He is safe. He is happy. He is a gift to all who meet him. As I teach my children to focus on the cans instead of on the not-ables, so too must I.
*That’s how the post stands at the wordpress countering, but upon reading a commenter at Emily’s, I have no doubt she’d read this and chime in with the awfuls and not okays. So, perhaps it’s best to address it in advance.
Is it okay that my son can’t live independently? That if family isn’t there for him, he’ll need a group home? Well, it’s the reality. It is what it is. All the wishing ain’t gonna change it. And certainly all the bitching and negativism isn’t. What we cannot change, we must accept or find a way around. If we choose to dwell in angry places, we do no good. We help neither ourselves nor our children. I believe that when we dwell on the can’ts and the injustice of it all, we mire our children in that morass as well, and we do them harm. When we rail at what they cannot do and bemoan our fates and theirs, we do them harm. 
So, you give me a choice between helping my boy to do the best he can, to be proud of what he can do, to find his own niche in the world where he can shine and be seen within in the light of his cans and that’s what I’m gonna do. It has everything about how I choose to find my place in this world while helping my children to find their places. And part of that is making sure they are happy, that all is well with their souls.
Other people will choose different paths for themselves and their children and that is their right.
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