April is coming

Originally published on Respectfully Connected

I read this from 30 days of Autism today, and I related to it so deeply.

As an Autistic parent of an Autistic child, I would love to be able to shield my child from this aspect of our lives, but if I did, then I would be doing him a disservice. He needs to know this, but I wish he didn’t have to.

April is coming. April is the time where all non-autistic organisations push awareness instead of talking about acceptance. It’s a time when many Autistic people start developing a knot in their stomachs. A knot that reminds us that we’re not wanted.

The reason why I related to the original post breaks my heart.

Recently, I had to have a discussion with my son concerning how Lindt donates money to an organisation who would prefer that we didn’t exist.

I had to explain why we wouldn’t be buying any more gold bunnies for Easter. I had to explain that the organisation that Lindt donates to is currently running a project to identify us before we’re born so that they can prevent more of us from being born.

His response was insightful but also heartbreaking:

“But we’re already here! If they don’t want more of us to be born, what do they want to do with the rest of us?”

Today, he saw a Lindt gold bunny, and he said:

“Even though I really want one, I’m not going to ask for one because I know they give their money to bad things.”

He’s 9. It breaks my heart.

Why does he have to know that there are people who would prefer that we do not exist? Why does he have to know that people hate us?

Part of me thinks that he’s too young to learn the truth, while other parts of me thinks that it might be better for him to know this earlier. I see this in myself and some of my friends: We struggle to accept that they hate us. It’s a harsh truth. They hate us without even knowing us. They hate us – not because of who we are, but because of what we are.

My 9 year old son should not have to know this. This shouldn’t be a thing that even affects his life, yet it does. And, so he needs to know.

But I wish he didn’t.