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The Mother of an Autistic Child Writes…

Posted Jul 29 2009 10:04pm

Lisa Belkin, who blogs about parenting for the NY Times, prints an excellent letter from the mother of an autistic child about what it is like:

“Crying.” The study talks of the crying. [The mom wrote to Belkin to complain that a study Belkin described sugar-coated things.] The word pales in the face of our son’s dissolutions into tears. These days, if he hears a simple “no” or learns of some change in plans, he might launch into a 10-minute jag, where he argues fiercely with us in between the sobs. Then he can quickly escalate to ear-piercing screams lasting another 15 minutes or more. It’s a wonder none of our neighbors have misconstrued what they might have heard and called 911. The shrieking does subside, back into sobs, and that part is somehow harder to watch, reminding me how terrifying it must be to feel to be that out of control, especially when you’re a small, anxious child.

No good deed goes uncriticized. An autistic adult named Sarah writes to Belkin to complain:

Please, consider that autistic people read blogs and have feelings as well. Your blog entry claims to show “the unvarnished reality of autism,” but the feelings and perceptions of actual autistic people are sadly missing from your account.

What an idea: that no blogger should write something that might hurt the feelings of someone with autism. As for the “sadly missing,” the passage I quoted from the mom describes the “feelings and perceptions” of an autistic person at length. Sarah blogs here.

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