Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.

2/21/08

About The Artist & About What We Leave For Our Children

Being an artist myself, the information gained regarding that picture from my last entry peaked my interest. Glen Angus was a very talented artist, and he died tragically young. He describes the picture of his son here. It is worthwhile to read it, at least for me it was.

I think, if nothing else, a painting like this and the comments left by cs, should remind us all about the legacy we are leaving for our children. We are all human, and emotions can often take control of our words and actions. Parenting is a hard job, parenting an autistic child can sometimes be very emotional. It can be therapeutic to blog, "vent" on a message board, or paint, to better express our feelings and to "take a load off." But, I think we must always remember, first and foremost, that our children are beautiful human beings, full of life and with futures ahead of them.

I am only human, and I'm sure I may have said something at some point regarding my child that I'd prefer her not hear in 10 years from now. I remember crying to my husband one time about the future, and feeling so sad for my daughter. This was at a very emotional time, we had just received the autism diagnosis (on top of several others). We were on a roller coaster of physical health issues, and I was caught off guard (as most of us are!) at first for the meltdowns and other behaviors. I felt like a terrible mother, and mostly, I felt bad for my child who was having such a difficult time.

So, I get that. I've had those moments. I'm sure I'll continue to feel those natural pangs in my heart from time to time (albeit much briefer, as I'm now better prepared for our life & I have a greater understanding of autism). But, I'm a different person than I was when we first heard "autism." I know so much more, I know my daughter so much more. Just as I suspect Glen Angus would have felt if he were still here. I'm certain he'd have delighted in the strides his son was making, and feel much more hopeful.

This should remind us all to be careful of how and what we say regarding all of our children, autistic or not. In this day in age, with all of us blogging, hitting message boards, having MySpace pages, etc., our children will have an enormous internet catalog of our life. Our thoughts and feelings about them will be right there out in the open, should they be curious and able to investigate. I can say without a doubt that I would share this blog with my daughters without a thought. There may be some posts I would feel I'd want to further discuss and explain with them. I am honest here on my blog, and more than anything, I take into account the very real possibility of my children growing up and reading what I've written. We all need to be cognizant of what we say, in the real world, online, and most importantly in front of our children. I want to reiterate that the last part may serve as a very crucial reminder to parents on nonverbal children.

I am going to take the picture off. If you missed it and are curious, you can see it here, along with the artist's description.

3 comments:

CS said...

I was the anonymous, I couldn't get the comment to work under the name/url option so I chose anonymous. Sorry

Sharon said...

It is terribly sad that this man's legacy includes the most horrible illustration I have seen in a long time. You are quite right in this post. I am a much less than perfect mother, and I have many occasions to apologise for having been hasty, judgemental, impatient or angry with the people I care about. Leaving something negative on the web, that could be discovered at some later stage, could cause a whole bucket full of pain. I try to be aware of this always when I write about my family. I wouldn't want them to be embarrassed or hurt by anything I put out.

S.L. said...

Thanks cs!