Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Autism These Days

Since my last post, we've packed up the family and moved from Deliverance, TN, to the greater New Orleans area, LA. We. Love. It. Here

Morgan is not as ostracized here for his differences as he was in TN. Maybe it's because in the land of odd, he's not so damned odd. Or maybe it's because we're living in an apartment complex where a whole bunch of kids (some his age, some younger and some older) have embraced Morgan and protected him from the very few bullies that roam the complex.

In his class, he actually has four other auties around him! You know what that means? A para (paraprofessional) is in his classroom at all times giving the teacher - and the auties - much needed support. Morgan even gets his speech in class, thus not being singled out.

Morgan is HAPPY!

Best part about living in Louisiana? With six months of residency under our belts, Morgan will qualify for something that is nonexistent currently in TN- autism insurance! I commend my friends fighting for it still, but state senators there told my husband point blank that it would not happen, period. I hope that this will soon change, as many people would benefit from autism insurance reform.

This has been a great change for our family. My own outlook on autism has changed.. While I never really have, I don't want to cure my son. Or fix him. I want to help him succeed.

Some might ask why I don't support a cure... well, if I were to cure Morgan's autism, I would being "curing" my son of everything that I hold dear.  The things that I would do with away- such as his lack of friends, are what make him Morgan. And... He's the friendliest kid I've ever met, but society deems him "weird." So he takes things literally, talks too damned loud, and stims like crazy over things that I cannot possibly understand. So WHAT if he likes Thomas the flippin' Tank Engine (still) at the age of almost eight? WHO CARES? 

Why would I want to cure my sweet, caring (squash that not having empathy thing, people- my kid has it in spades!), quirky kid. We got lucky in a lot of way on this spectrum of ours. Morgan is verbal, in a Yoda sort of way. He's a whiz at math. He has an ear for music. He's just... different from how society wants him to be.

You know what? My view on autism has changed a helluva lot in the year. When I began this blog, I was mad as hell that someone had finally labeled my kid with something that I viewed as nearly a death sentence. I was so very ignorant and wrong. 

Autism, in so many ways, is a beautiful thing. I wish more people would see it as I do. Sure, sometimes I flip out and stay awake worrying, like a lot of autism parents, but not as much as I used to. There is no light at the end of the tunnel- yet. However, there are a lot of colors in my kaleidoscope. 

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