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Personal rant

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1 Personal rant on Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:20 pm

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I posted today on facebook about my 2 sons diagnosis of autism. I appreciated all the supportive replies. It really means a lot. I just wanted to farther my thoughts and I assume I wouldn't have the room on a regular post.

I'm not upset or bothered by the results of the testing, by any means. The testing took a while to get sorted out, but all-in-all they didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. I appreciate no one replying with "I'm sorry to hear that".... it's not necessary, and honestly a bit condescending. They don't have a "illness", they won't die from autism, and they are just as likely to have a solid quality of life then anyone else. In many ways, they have it better then many other children in worse conditions.

To be completely honest.... one of the deep down benefits of their diagnosis is the ability to tell the "know everything" parents to fuck off. I can't tell you how many time I have heard "just potty train them, what's the big deal" or "I don't think they are autistic, they just need someone to help them along more", or "they go to bed late, just put them to bed earlier"... Or the looks I get in public when they have a break down. Not that this is a new reply to those things, but piss off.

I can say this, it has been easier to be a single parent of autistic children with all of their challenges, querks, issues, and problems then it has been to be a single father. Every day with them things change. Every day brings new situations and it is hard to keep a solid pattern so they can transition every second comfortable....but it beats the "pity/condemnation" I get for being a single father. I can't tell you how many times I have had to deal with people treating me with kid gloves when being talked to by teachers, doctors, social workers who all seem to be afraid to use big people words to convey a message with the fears that because I'm "only" the father, I won't understand. I actually had a teacher tell me "well, you don't put them to bed early because it's easier for a father who stays up late to let the kids stay up late". Then in the same conversation ask me 20 times after explaining their mom (at the time) was all but non-existent in their lives..."well, what does the mother think?". What? She actually questioned if I even knew how to potty train my boys and suggested I get a hold of their mother for help.... I told her "I have many many years of practice pissing while standing, their mother doesn't. I got it."

It's been a long and bumpy road, and by no means would I ever want to diminish the role of a mother..... but I'm sorry, it's no more important then the role of a father. Yes, there are POS fathers out there....but so are there POS mothers. When you are a single parent, you must be both roles. A mother can be a father figure, and a father can be a mother figure. That simple.

I don't work with my kids at "my pace" which seems to be the theme everyone attaches to when telling me what I can "do better". My kids work at their own pace.....and I support them and do what I can to advance them. I don't have the ability some parents have to just tell my kids "no"...with or without explanation. There are series of events I need to go through that differ from a lot of situations. You may be able to explain to your 2 year old something in 1 minute that takes me 6 days to get my 5 year old to comprehend. I'm in no way complaining, I wouldn't change a thing.......but don't tell me how "sorry" you feel for me because I'm a single father or how "hard" it must be for me.

And please stop with the "I can't believe a mother would give up custody of her kids" or "It must be hard on them not to be with their mother". They are my responsibility...and that responsibility to me, is a gift. I cherish it. Other fathers see their kids every other weekend and that seems deemed "normal"...because they are with their mothers. I have a situation reversed and all of a sudden it's "sad to see"..... bullshit. It's just as normal. Don't hand me the "mothers intuition" garbage either. It's something some use to make them selves look more important in the role of a parent. You aren't. You want to change that to "parents intuition"....maybe I'll bite.


If you missed the point of all of this, here is your Cliff notes:

I'm not just a father.....I'm a parent. Don't pity me, don't feel sorry for my boys. Don't offer me "advice" unless you can really say you understand what it is like to be a single parent of 2 autistic children. I do understand....and we are just fine.


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