Angel is not a burden. Yes, you read correctly. Angel has autism and he is not a burden. I do not go to sleep at night lamenting my fate because my child is on the autism spectrum.
Angel is an easy going child. He is very affectionate, very active, and has no behaviors that would make me classify him as a difficult. I realize that some parents raising kids on the spectrum can have a hard time and I empathize with them but I needed to get it out there that my son is not a burden.
You must be wondering where all of this is coming from. Well, it is in reaction to a post I wrote this week and a comment I received in response. The comment hurt to the core because in essence the person was telling me that I should not be permitted to have another child because my first child has a disability. I mean why do that to myself. This is what the commenter wondered. She also mentioned that my son was a burden and why bring another burden into the world.
I thought long and hard about writing this post because I did ask for the disparaging remark to be deleted. So why bring it up again?
I am bringing it up because I finally found the courage to try to make the moment teachable.
I am bringing it up because it is my way of getting out my feelings about it and putting it to rest.
I am bringing it up because it scares me to think there may be other people out there who think that children with autism are a burden.
I am bringing it up because now I know that there are people who think that if you have a child with a disability, you should not be “permitted” to have more.
So here goes my teachable moment:
Autism has its challenges. Every day is not easy. I acknowledge this. I live it. In spite of it all, I do not need pity. If you met my son, you will see how loving he is. You will see what a joy he is to be around. You will see that we are not burdened by his existence. In fact, we cherish every moment with him. She believes that I should not be permitted to have a second child. Well you know what they say about opinions.
How have people reacted to your decision to have or not have more children? I look forward to hearing from you.