Fuck Autism

I knew there was something "different" about my daughter from the time she was a wee squiggler. Over time, intensive therapy and diagnosis my acceptance level has increased although there are days when I want to throw a bitch slap at people with "normal" children who don't have to deal with the meltdowns and stress that literally make my gut feel like it's full of shrapnel and acid. FUCK AUTISM AND ITS SPECTRUM OF DISORDERS.

I've written about it before and my opinion hasn't changed as far as knowing that a diagnosis doesn't change anything about our daily life. This morning's blood curdling screams over the pain of hair brushing or the stress over finding clothing that feels right on her sensitive little skin was frustrating as usual for her. It is her pain that wrecks me. I try to stay in the moment. The future is like a mocking bully of a whore that drags me into the dark place. Breathe. One day at a time.

My sister-mom muse, Dawn Barnsdale writes and educates about autism. She has a sense of humor about the subject as well as a passion for spreading awareness about the condition. Autism has many faces and many of the faces you see are the ones of the family members who speak for those who can't speak for themselves. Dawn is also funny. She's not a little funny, she's laugh out loud smart ass, drowning in the reality of day to day life with autism HIFUCKINGLARIOUS. She also likes wine and chicken nuggets. I get that. I get her. Big time. [http://dawnsramblings.posterous.com/raising-awareness-not-celebrating. ](http://dawnsramblings.posterous.com/are-you-aware-of-awareness)Subscribe. Ramblings of a Wineaux Mom.

I try to find something in everyone and everything that I like. It's more challenging than being negative. Anyone can find fault. We are all flawed. I like the way Dawn's last blog was about NOT celebrating autism. A family with a special needs kid knows no other way. That doesn't mean that every family with a special needs child is all hearts and flowers and flooded with acceptance. Love doesn't make you blind but it makes you strong. Dawn is a pro at this. She finds the funny and the positive yet doesn't lose focus on the issue she is addressing. As a writer I can tell you that this is very difficult. Weaving humor into subjects and trying to keep the attention of an audience that just wants to laugh is tricky shit.

It's Autism awareness month. For the love of all things fucking holy I am begging you to get educated. I am not talking bullshit educated. Get the right information based on firm science and not emotional rantings of celebrities and rating seeking rag television. The amount of misinformation circulating makes my shrapnel gut bleed and that blood begins to boil when I see or hear it presented on a large scale.

FUCK AUTISM. Fuck it every day and in every way when it causes pain for those we love.

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  • Amen, sister! Two of my kids are autistic and I have to deal with the freakin pearl clutchers every damn day. Makes me feel so much better to know that there's other people out there dealing with the same thing in the same way I am...with booze and cursing.

  • In reply to mistsmith23:

    rock on sister

  • Nikki thank you for this article. I am not a mom of an autistic child but I was in the medical field and have seen what moms of autistic children go through, at least partially, and I empathize! You are an amazing person and I think you are probably one of the most down to earth people I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. I didn't know that your daughter was autistic just by the things that you write but remember always that you aren't alone and have support! :) HUGS

  • In reply to RebeccaMatousek:

    my son was very ill as a baby, child, assholes said put some socks on him, ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  • In reply to RebeccaMatousek:

    I'm going to speak my mind here, and if I can't do it here, then where can I? Autism is rough, yes, but fuck all the pearl clutchin whores who'd rather judge us as a parent because our kid does autistic things like run out in front of moving traffic on a whim. Fuck them for judging us as parents for picking and choosing our battles wisely, for letting the kid have some damned ice cream for breakfast.... Fuck the kids who have to make fun of the kid who is dumb enough to believe they might be their friends, and fuck their pearl clutchin parents again for raising them that way. Neuro-diversity should be welcomed, not labeled as a disease or disorder unless it truly is a danger to society. If you got a kid with autism, thank God they don't suck as bad as normal people do, no offense to the understanding, kind people who don't have autism, but keep in mind, if you are kind and understanding, you are NOT normal either. Like I said, autism is rough, but if you are going to fuck off something, FUCK NEUROTYPICAL.

  • In reply to RebeccaMatousek:

    Damn, based on these comments...didn't know Moms with autistic children want to openly bitch slap Moms with "normal" children. When will it end? The only person on this comment board that should be allowed to spank a "pearl clutchin whore" is gwill.

  • In reply to gwill:

    We're angry, and understandably so. We're often told that our children's problems are our faults - that we should just spank the kid and it'll make him/her "normal". Who knew spanking would cure autism? Speaking for myself, I don't want to bitch slap moms with neurotypical children. I only want to bitch slap people who think they know what's best for me and mine without either having been in my exact shoes or having gotten some sort of advanced degree that makes them an expert on the subject. Even then, all "advice" is suspect unless and until it proves effective and safe. When your every step outside your front door is bound to lead to unsolicited comments on what kind of parent you are, it's easy to be bitter. After all, autism isn't physically apparent and there are even some people at large who don't believe in it! So even if you get the opportunity to explain yourself and your child to a stranger, your explanation might be met with scoffing and eye rolling. While the hatred toward "normal moms" isn't necessarily helpful, don't you think it's just a little understandable?

  • In reply to gwill:

    My son was diagnosed with PDD Nos a yr ago. Even though I already knew there was something wrong, I grieve. It does get easier to accept, but the anger and guilt shows up often. Asking for help to raise my son was the hardest thing I ever did. Giving up control is the worst, but I had to realize that I had no way to deal with his behavior. Being a first time mother was hard enough. He is doing so much better, but it takes 22 hrs a week in therapy to get him to complete a sentence. Hang in there moms, it will get easier to deal with. It just takes time.

  • Nicole, my sympathies to you and your family. Autisim is the new word for mentally challeneged/retarded. I grew up with a younger autisitc mentally challenged sister and know the kind of life you lead. It's painful, the guilt is all-consuming and the humor is dark. Good luck and pay attention to your other child; they need time, too! T.

  • We've thought for a long time that my daughter had Aspergers which is on the lighter side of the Autism spectrum. She still might, but a lot of the things she's seeming to make adjustments with and handle better as she ages.

    I haven't had all of the problems you have, but I had to do the brushing program to help with sensitivity, take her to two years worth of occupational therapy to try and teacher how to do things other kids do naturally (she's 9 and still can't ride a bike), deal with melt downs far beyond normal, have a child who's not able to socialize properly, and have constant fear of her being picked on because of the things that separate her.

    I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be to deal with someone farther on the spectrum, because even with just a hint of it, it's hard.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug! We share a life! My son sounds very similar. Been to dozens of doctors because because me son has ALMOST every "symptom" of asbergers but because he makes facial expressions and has emotions (this is what I was told) they won't diagnose him on the spectrum. He is 8 and can't ride a bike, also can't tie his shoes. So I sympathize with you and your daughter. My son is starting online school next year because the regular class is too overwhelming for him. Nicole thanks for the article. I love everything you write. Anyway, THANKS! It just feels so great to come on here & see other people have the same problems, not that I want anyone else to, it just makes you feel better to know you aren't alone.

  • In reply to Arika5:

    Finally, a mention of a kid who is "autism-adjacent" (like mine). I've been scouring the internet looking for this for years. Any recommendations for on line resources for this invisible group? We've done the brushing (awesome results) and listening and interactive metronome, as well as sensory diet, but now we're faced with getting our son through high school with all his mounting anger and frustrations, as well as our own. Looking for guidance!!! And by the way, I applaud parents of autistic kids who are getting in touch with their inner rage. Let it out, man!

  • In reply to Arika5:

    As a pediatrician, the misinformation out there makes me want to pull my hair out. My heart goes out to you-fuck autism. And while I'm at it, fuck all those things I diagnose that make things difficult for parents and kids and families. I'm not on call tonight. Toasting to you.

  • In reply to Arika5:

    I must say that is very well put & how I feel most days. I have a 10 year old son with Autism, and to just take him into a store some days - yes you reallllllly just wanna bitch slap people. LOL Screw the people who stare, & judge I will NOT keep my child locked away just becasuse he acts different or talks to his hands. So what if every time I got into Wal-Mart I have to get him paint swatches of the colors of the rainbow, so what if he still sits in the big part of the shopping cart, it's better than losing him in a store. People do need to educate themselves on Autism...but it's unfortunate that no matter what there still will be ignorant ppl in this world that us and our children have to deal with.

  • In reply to Arika5:

    Thank God somebody got her head outta her ass and is being honest about things!!! I don't have an autistic child, but my older one does have some issues that are not only "weird" to others, but downright fucking annoying to me sometimes. I spent too long listening to people tell me that "abnormal" kids are because of bad parenting. Screw you!!! Oh God, to be so perfect and odor-free!!!

    Anyway, rock on with your bad self, Nicole. I grew up in Naperville, too, although I sure don't advertise it. Going back there makes me nauseous, but that's another story. Keep the reality and profanity alive!

  • In reply to Arika5:

    My 7 year old has autism. For the longest time, I worried, cried, agonized, drank, cried more, obsessed, and raged about his future. The older he's gotten, the more I realize that his future is still his own and it will be what he makes of it. It was a revelation that snapped me back to reality. He's still himself. He still has the same magical potential he had at birth. He's stronger than me. He's taught me not to sweat what other people think, and that he's going to be fine, and that worrying more won't make him "more fine". Anyway, thanks for posting about this. Information is...everything.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wow, I apologize for the spelling errors. I guess I should slow down.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    AMEN AMEN AMEN....I've been saying this since my son was first diagnosed 8 years ago...it sux....and I, too, want to bitch slap people with normal kids too at times...they don't have a friggin clue what it is like :(...thank god for vodka!!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I have "normal" children. I thank God everyday that I did not go through what all of you have. I didn't use to understand autism. When my children were young it was not talked about or diagnosed as it is now. We just thought these were children who are misbehaving. It grieves me to admit that and I am so sorry I had no idea the daily struggles and heartbreaks families touched by autism go through. Through MWDAS and Dawn's blogs I have seen a glimpse behind the autism curtain. I have so much respect and admire all of you fighting this battle for your children everyday. I know I can not fully understand your struggles, but I can sit on the sidelines and cheer. I can offer to help with love and support, we all can. Bless you Nikki and Dawnie and all the rest of you silent warriors, stay strong Autism sucks but you rock!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    No kidding!! I have 5 kids all boys. Son #4 has PDD-NOS. Had to learn how to parent backwards. The best advice ever given me was a Dr told me to pick my battles wisely. So I don't force my son to do anything typical kids are expected to do. He wears the same clothes for months on end. Eats the same thing day after day. Bribery works like a charm. The uneducated views him as a spoiled brat. I know better and could really give a shit what parents of typical kids think. I know they have no friggin clue. The powers that be gave me a challenge and created martini's to help us deal. The parents of children with disabilities are in a league all our own. CHEERS!

  • I have often read blogs from women saying how Autism is a blessing in disquise, how they have found much joy in their autistic children and how it has taught them many good things. I don't see Autism as a blessing and I never will. It has destroyed my life, taken away my sons life and choices, whom is severely austistic, and it has prevented my other children from living normal lives. I am a mother of 4 children...all teens now, including my autistic son, whom is 19 years old. The only thing Autism has taught me is that I have more patience than I ever thought I had (which is tested to the limits as times) but I am exhausted, stressed all the time and whenever I here a loud 'thud' I jump, hoping and praying it isn't my son hurting himself again. I HATE autism, but not the world or other people whom have normal functioning children and lives. I don't really get angry with other people either anymore because I was once where they are....observing special needs children and wondering what was wrong with them, not in being judgmental though. I do get angry at God sometimes about it and use to ask 'why' constantly, but that has stopped altogether. Our lives are short lived here on this earth and I have to take each day as it comes, like we all do. Accept what I can not change and make his life as comfortable as possible. I treat him like I do my other children because he is normal inside. The wires may be crossed within his brain at times, but he IS ALL THERE nevertheless. He is just trapped within himself...not 'retarded'. I can care less what this world thinks of me or my life or my children. I am not here to PLEASE people or even myself, but to be the best person I know how to be while I am here, and I don't always succeed at that. I'll tell you what though...I don't drink to deal with his autism because I do him no good in that, or my other children...but I do swear at times....;o) It is 3:00 a.m. here as I am writing this because I just got my son in bed, waiting for his mood to mellow out in order to do so or otherwise he would end up banging his head against the wall until he hurt himself, or possibly biting his arms until he brought the blood. Three hours from now I will have to get up and get my two youngest up and ready for school and then come back and try to get SOME sleep.
    Well, those living with and effected by autism know the routines of this life. I just want to close this with saying that the world will always sit in judgement of you, as I am sure at one time or another you have done those same things about something and someone. We all have opinions and frown upon something/someone at some point or another, as well as assuming the worst things about each others lives and whom each of us are, without evening knowing the person we've done this to. But I say...live your life the best you can and don't worry about what others think or say, especially if they do not know you or what you go through. You have only one to please and He isn't here on this earth and that is where it should matter only.

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