I’m sorry that my son has a disability. I’m sorry that it affects your perfect little lives. I’m sorry that my son has meltdowns, damages my property and that the noise from this is too loud for you. I am sorry that I do not have a volume control for his loud voice, and that it intrudes on you. But mostly I’m sorry that your narrow minded ignorant views can’t be educated.
I’m glad you haven’t had to go through what I’ve been through. I am glad that you have your perfect life, with your perfect child, and perfect jobs, and lovely holidays I’m glad that you haven’t had your windows smashed, graffiti all over your house and your cars smashed, because of your child. I’m glad that you don’t understand what I have to go through day in, day out. Because do you know what? I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
I could have just as easily banded around the insults like you did. I could have just as easily picked on your weight, like you picked on the fact I was driven out of my own house and had to give up my job, my house and my life, leaving me currently living on benefits to survive. I could have brought up the fact that your daughter, when she was my son’s age, also had friends round. That they had sat out in the garden playing music till midnight and keeping me awake, but I didn’t. Because that is not the type of person that I am.
The type of person that I am is the one, who is constantly reminding her son of the social etiquettes that he has very little comprehension over. And is in constant receipt of name calling and violence because of it. The one who is walking on egg-shells trying to please everybody, to keep the peace, so that your night isn’t ruined by yet another meltdown. The one who’s sick of hearing herself say, “Please can you think of the neighbours and keep the noise down.” All evening, yet I will continue to do it, because I do care. Yes, I am the one, who after seventeen years of my son having no friends, takes a small amount of pleasure from seeing him smile, be happy and play with others. I am the one who is having to cope with his meltdown this morning, firstly because he doesn’t understand what happened last night or why. And secondly because it will mean that I will have to make changes and he doesn’t like change, so he is taking it out on me. I am the one who is trying to better herself by going back to college at forty, so that I can get a better job in the future. I am the one who has written a book so that others can see exactly what it is like for parents and what we go through, but also to help other parents in my situation.
I can’t help what you think of me. But I know that I am trying my best, and that is all I am able to do.
Yours sincerely, The Parent of the Autistic, ADHD Child!