Monday, February 8, 2016

Teen with ASD Would Rather Be Cool than "Different" The Pain of Knowing.

This from a mom about her son with autism.

Mattey doesn't like to think of himself as having Autism. I get it. It makes him seem sound different. He doesn't want to be different. He wants to be him. He wants to be "cool", and have a good reputation (even if his version isn't what I have in mind as "good"). He wants to have a girlfriend, and even wants to downplay his intelligence, by doing bad in school.. or at least not perform to the level he's capable of.

Since he isn't okay with having Autism, he isn't okay with all of the things that go with it- counseling, for one. Yesterday I had to explain to him that Autism is much like his asthma, or my Lyme, or any other number of issues. They have to be treated. The treatments are boring, or may even seem pointless. But they need to be done. Only once we reach a certain point in our treatment may the doctor tell us that we don't need as much medicine (or therapy, or whatever), and may not need to see them as often. Acting out merely proves that he's not ready to have these things phased out.

More importantly, he's not going through this alone. For as much as he wants to deny this part of him (which again, I liken to asthma- it's part of his make up, and nothing "bad", or "wrong"), he's not the only one going through it. Every day, our entire family- everyone he knows and interacts with on a daily basis- is going through it with him, even if to a lesser degree. It may take him years to understand or even remotely appreciate that. We're not him, so there's no way to understand his struggle. But we're having to share this experience with him, whether or not he wants to accept the word "Autism". We're still here to help him, for all of his rejection and denial.
So, yes. It is hard. (For everyone).