No. No no no no no.

I read this. I feel kind of awful linking to it, but I’m responding to bits directly so I seems to make sense to let you know what I am responding to.

I fight against autism

Ah. The battle metaphor. I have got to go over this more, but seriously, the battle metaphor is not a good one. Don’t fight autism. It is not your enemy.

I fight for my daughter to be a normal child

Well at least you directly said it. This is really sad, though and is really more about you than it is about her. You’re not helping her be the best her that she can be, you’re trying to get her to hide her differences so that she looks like everyone else. That is disturbing to me.

as a parent, I cannot give up the hope of reclaiming my child back from the claws of autism

So in this metaphor, autism is some kind of predatory beast with claws, that has taken your child?

… Wow.

Autism is the way her brain works. It is inherent to who she is. Autism is not a monster, and it does not have claws.

Will I ever get her completely back?

Back from where? She’s your daughter, and she’s right there. Maybe try to take her as she is, and accept her as she is. She’s not gone, and it’s on you to see that.

“What are you working for (choose reward) when you are playing dolls with me?” What a strange question to get a reward for what should be rewarding by itself to a regular child, but not to a child with autism.

No, it’s still a strange question. If she is doing something she doesn’t like, then it isn’t play for her. It’s work. Just because it’s the kind of play that *you* think that little girls should be doing does not mean that it is the only valid form of play out there. Why are you so threatened by the idea of just letting her be herself? Maybe relax some of your rigid standards about the right way to be.

calm down from her tantrums

Meltdowns.

an overpowering tantrum

It’s a meltdown. The word matters a lot, because they mean two totally different things.

I train myself to ignore her when she is asking without making an eye contact

Whoa. I just… I don’t even…

Eye contact is PAINFUL. Nor is it all that high on the list of necessary things to deal with in terms of autism. I mean, yeah, it’s helpful to be able to do so, but it’s actually not a huge deal. And sometimes we just CAN’T (at least, not without significant pain) and forcing us to do so in order to get our needs met is nothing less than cruel.

which encourage me to continue my fight against autism in my child and in other children I evaluate as a psychologist.

Oh dear. You’re encouraging other people to view autism as something outside their child, to be fought against? That honestly frightens me.

For our children with autism it is not important why they are sick

Autism is not a sickness. I am not sick because I am autistic. I do need to be helped, but I do not need to be cured. STOP IT.

Puzzle pieces are not flying around, my daughter does not run away or lie on the floor screaming. She can finish a board game. She wears many different clothes, and I almost forgot that it used to be only one dress and only yellow color.

Ok, I will say – I am glad for this. It sounds like there are concrete ways that your daughter is learning to manage herself, and that is good. I can only hope that she is also learning to accept herself as she is, love herself, and advocate for her needs. Based on what you’ve written, I think those other things – things that are extraordinarily important – are getting neglected in favor of getting her to look and act normal.

Oh, and the clothes thing? I wear almost entirely black, and when I find an item of clothing that I like I almost always get multiples of it if I can. Because in the end, diversifying my wardrobe matters much less than finding clothes that don’t hurt me or stress me out, and just staying appropriately clothed.

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3 Comments

Filed under rant

3 responses to “No. No no no no no.

  1. Tricia

    Wow. I know it’s been ages since I’ve been here, but something had me clicking on your blog today.

    ” I train myself to ignore her when she is asking without making an eye contact

    Whoa. I just… I don’t even…

    Eye contact is PAINFUL. Nor is it all that high on the list of necessary things to deal with in terms of autism. I mean, yeah, it’s helpful to be able to do so, but it’s actually not a huge deal. And sometimes we just CAN’T (at least, not without significant pain) and forcing us to do so in order to get our needs met is nothing less than cruel.”

    WTF? I’m almost 40 years old, considered to be a successful business woman and I DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT. You’re right, this is not critical, it’s not even helping her. This is a pure power play, all about dominance. Gods, this pissed me off…..

  2. Possum

    It’s horrifying that a professional is spreading this intolerance to vulnerable parents.

    I, too, was thinking, when she talked about rewarding her daughter for playing with dolls, this isn’t about fun, it’s about conforming in order to meet the mother’s needs. My therapist talks about the need to be “seen” which she says is really important. I haven’t decided yet if I agree but this child sure isn’t getting it. Early on she’s learning the opposite, that the important thing is to hide who you are to please others. (I know that’s wrong.)

    As far as the screaming, has the mother (a psychologist) attempted to figure out if there’s a reason, like pain? I just read a cookbook about a yeast-free diet where the author is the parent of a boy who developed autistic characteristics at the age of 3.When the son started having meltdowns the mother connected some clues to migraines and they played with his diet until he acted pain-free. This mother, though, only seems to care about conformity. I feel so sorry for the daughter.

    Your blog title says it all.

  3. Working in schools, I have seen kids with autism viewed and treated this way. To me it feels like adults are trying to train children to APPEAR normal. Here’s the thing. You can force your child to play with dolls or play a board game, and you can train her to do this for a reward, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever enjoy it! You can train your child to make eye contact, but she’ll always have to concentrate on doing that, and therefore not give her full concentration to what the other person is saying. It is definitely good to help your child learn how to manage their own behavior. You can’t go around in life throwing things whenever something bothers you! But I wish people would get to know their child for who they are, instead of trying to train their children to act “normal.”