As you may know, one of the major points of my book Aspertools is that kids with Asperger’s and autism have different brains, which process information differently. Another is that, the parent of a child with a different brain must love that child unconditionally.
Today I’m saluting Jacqueline Laurita, one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. When she read a comment from a woman on the Facebook wall of the Autism Behavioral Services page that asked why people give birth to autistic kids, Jacqueline, the mother of a young boy, Nicholas, diagnosed with autism, wrote an amazing and beautiful response. I’ve picked out a few of the numbered points in Jacqueline’s rejoinder to include here in an edited down fashion.
As a very proud Mother of a beautiful, intelligent, loving child with Autism, I want to provide you with an answer to your question that you so boldly and publicly asked, “Why do people give birth to Autistic kids? Waste of societies resources.”
Let me educate you. . .there is NO medical detection or prenatal test to tell you that your child will be born with Autism. Even if I had known of my son’s Autism prior to his birth, I would have STILL chosen to give him Life.
Autism signs and symptoms are usually discovered within the first few years of life. I am a Mother that waited 6 ½ years and went through 5 miscarriages to finally give birth to, what I consider, my miracle child. I couldn’t wait to hold him in my arms, look into his eyes, and love him forever. The love for my child is immeasurable and I will continue to love him unconditionally regardless of any challenges he may have. He is a joy to our entire family and has taught us more in life than we ever imagined we would be teaching him. Thank GOD he exists! He is worth every resource we can get that will help bring out the best individual that he can be. He is worth every skill we can teach him that may make his life a little easier in the future.
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. They also could exhibit some self-stimulatory and repetitive behaviors. People with Autism Spectrum Disorders process and handle information in their brain differently than other people. DIFFERENTLY, NOT LESS than other people!
Although there is no known cure for Autism, as of yet, it is treatable, and with the right early detection, intervention and treatment services, the signs and symptoms related to Autism can be greatly improved and in some cases completely overcome.
EVERY child, with or without Autism, or some other challenge in life, MATTERS! Every human being has something to contribute to this world if people would pay attention to the lessons to be learned from each individual.
I hope you take some time to understand how your insensitive words may have affected families, such as my own, who choose to see the beauty of children with Autism. We love them unconditionally and endlessly. As parents we will continue to fight hard to give our children whatever we can to give them the skills they need to help make their lives easier for their future. We are parents who will continue to believe that these bright souls not only have the power to continue to learn, but also have plenty to teach the world. Raising a child on the Autism spectrum is a joy and challenge every single day, and we appreciate any information, resources and support we can get from others. I hope in the future, you choose empathy over your lack of compassion.
Beautifully put, Jacqueline. Well, as I say in Aspertools, mothers such as Jacqueline Laurita deserve a special place in heaven. This should inspire all of us to continue to get the word out to society in general during this autism awareness month.
This blog was originally published here. Reprinted with permission of the author.