Dear Mom

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I wanted to let you know that autism isn’t because of bad parenting.

We’ve had a lot of ups and downs in our relationship. We’ve said a lot of mean things to each other.

But using Autism as an insult isn’t cool. I saw those comments on Facebook about my parenting, after we moved 2,000 miles away.

The ones where you said that my kids don’t even have Autism… I’m using it as an excuse for lazy parenting. Or if they do, it’s because I let them watch too much TV or it’s a result of being a bad mother. Along with a few other things you were saying to my now Ex-childhood best friend, who also doesn’t care to understand my kids with Autism.

I believe Autism is genetic. Thanks to the boys diagnosis, taking tests online, and talking to other women on the spectrum, I’ve come to identify as Autistic (and pray someday to get an official DX). Then, after I allowed my resentment towards you to diminish… I started seeing the traits in you. Which may be part of the reason we constantly bumped heads. Neither of us communicates well.

I see those pictures of you with your “other” grandson. The “normal” one… Who talks… Who eats what you eat, who knows what you’re saying, who plays with toys appropriately.

I feel bad for you. That you chose not to get to know and understand your three amazing (biological) grandchildren. They might take longer to “figure out”, but once you do… The love and excitement flowing from them is amazing and contagious.

But the reason I’m here today is to tell you… And hope you understand or try to; is that Autism, is NOT caused by bad parenting. It is NOT caused by watching too much TV, and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. They are not just bad kids who need more discipline. These are a few things in the Autism Community that we have to fight against constantly… Being judged and looked down upon because our kids are different.

What you may see as bad parenting, isn’t bad… It’s different. Because my boys are different and need a different way of learning. Like so many other people out there, you’re unwelcoming to different. You think, it’s different so there must be something wrong.

My boys don’t learn from reading books, or flash cards… No matter how hard I tried. Once I let go of that “normal” way of teaching, Tyler started talking and Justin started understanding more.

My children are happy, they’re thriving, they’re growing and progressing…

And honestly, with all the research I’m constantly doing, IEP meetings, therapies, etc… If I wanted to be a lazy parent, I wouldn’t have picked Autism to blame it on.

-Your Daughter

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