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Ten Years After Autism Diagnosis

This morning I was on my knees on the kitchen floor and I was not cleaning. I was begging for divine intervention. Ten years since the autism diagnosis. Ten. Years. A full fucking decade. I have aged threefold. I am baffled and broken but no closer to an answer than I was when we started this journey. I believe I believe I believe, I repeated over and over as if faith could function like magic. If I just prayed hard enough a fairy godmother would appear to grant my wish. Heal my son. Or give me his pain. Hurt me for my own mistakes, but he has suffered enough. In truth, I could just as easily have meant Ihave suffered enough. Either way, my prayers soon turned into an angry soliloquy, a version of the rant I I have said more than once before. Leave him alone now, you son of a bitch. What kind of monster would hurt an innocent child for things his mother has done? I have done all that you asked. I have tried every potential solution you have given me. Every medicine. A speci…

Sometimes Holland Sucks

When I first read the famous essay “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley, I was touched. The overall premise, for those unfamiliar, is that having a child with a disability is like having planned a dream vacation to Italy, only to find out that the plane has landed in Holland. Not only are you in the wrong country, but everyone you know has been to Italy and talks about it all the time. What’s worse is that you will never go to Italy. Though the text itself is a bit unclear here, I think Kingsley means that you will remain in Holland forever. She could just as easily mean for the duration of the vacation, but either way, you are in Holland. Kingsley writes: for the rest of your life, you will say ‘Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.’…And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you…

Of Bark and Bite. Another Autism Mad Mothering Moment.

We each have our share of moments we will relive forever, sneaky little flashes that come right in uninvited square in the middle of another moment. Things are going along great—the perfect cup of coffee great, a nailed workout great, new pair of boots-great, and Bam! a clip inserts itself, a brainworm on roids, bigger, stronger, complete with the ability to rewind and replay itself at will, ad infinitum, create its own highlights and soundtrack, freeze-frame, slo-mo, discord.

Here is mine: I feel my teeth sinking in the flesh on my son’s left ring finger. I feel the resistance of skin and bone. I hear, almost out loud, the word bite three times in rapid succession. It is not a reaction, not an instinct to protect myself, but an intentional, briefly pre-meditated action done in deliberate attempt to show him that he should not be pounding my face with his open hand, that inserting his fingers into my mouth and trying to yank my lips off from the inside is a mistake he will regret.
Jus…