An Autistic Perspective – Non-Autistic Parents & the Neurodiversity Movement

 

Transcription:

Hi everyone.  NeuroRebel here, and this week I wanted to talk about a very disturbing tweet that I have seen on Twitter, and it was talking about how they claim that the neurodiversity movement is anti-NT parent of autistic kids.

This is really, really absolutely not true.

A lot of the work I do is because I see that there are parents out there looking for help, looking for answers, and looking for questions.  When I do a video, I just kind of try to think “What would I have wanted the adults and teachers and parents around me to have known when I was growing up (undiagnosed)?”

Now that I’m able to share these things, that’s why I make my videos.  I can’t speak for other people out there who make autism videos and love neurodiversity as much as I do, because it really has changed and saved my life in a lot of ways.

The problem that autistic people have with certain parents is the use of terms like “autism warrior” parent, because this is the idea is the person is going to battle with autism.

But that’s almost like saying they’re going to battle with gayness, or they’re going to battle with someone’s ethnicity, or they’re going to battle with something that is a part of that person that can’t be removed.

And then the other problem is being treated like you are sub-human or less than, or a burden.  I realize, you know, things are hard; parenting any child is hard and parenting a child who doesn’t share your neurotype must be really, really confusing.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to parent a child who is really different from me, but that’s just a risk I think you take when you give birth, because all little children are individual little human beings.

And so, many of us autistic adults were just really heartbroken seeing some of the things these kids are going through, because we need the parents and the adults in our lives to be supportive of us, and help us learn and grow and become the best people you can be … or we can be, excuse me.

Let me know in the comments below if you are a non-autistic parent of an autistic child.

I’d love to hear what impact the neurodiversity movement has had on you, because the reason I keep doing this is because I get these notes from parents and people saying, “This stuff helps.”  If not, I would just quit, because I wouldn’t know if it was doing any good for anyone.

But let me know, guys, and I will talk to you next week. Bye!

Published by Christa Holmans - Neurodivergent Rebel

Christa Holmans, an autistic self-advocate from Texas, runs the the internationally recognized neurodiversity lifestyle blog Neurodivergent Rebel. Neurodivergent Rebel opened her blog in 2016 as a way to introduce people unfamiliar with autism to neurodiversity. Her blog, which is sometimes released in written format and also via YouTube video, explores the ideology of neurodiversity and the creative expressions of autistic people. Holmans’ blog pushes for acceptance of neurological differences and respect for the autonomy of neurodivergent people. Holmans is also known as the pioneer of the #askingautistics hashtag, which is often accompanied by a short question about everyday autistic experiences. This simple hashtag connects neurodivergent people who would not otherwise have a reason to engage with each other to foster understanding of the autistic experience.

13 thoughts on “An Autistic Perspective – Non-Autistic Parents & the Neurodiversity Movement

  1. I’m a NT parent of two beautiful neurodiverse children. I battle with doctors, I battle with the education system, I learn from my children. I am not a warrior against neurodiversity, I’m a supporter and learner. I have the most awesome guides 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am a nt mom of a beautiful young lady and possibly partner. I wish I had found you sooner but you reasure me that the choices I have made along the way to fight with teacher,doctors, and therapists was the right one. No my daughter does NOT need to be “normal”! She needs to be her fabulous self as she was put on this earth to be. No, she does not need a handful of pills three times a day ao she can fit your mold! You need to let her do what she needs to do ao she can progress. Lets learn coping skills together. Lets learn triggers together.
    But from my perspectiveb when I have used the term “autism warrior” i thought more of myself as fighting for autism. Fighting for my daughters rights to be herself. Fighting to educate people, to try to build pathways for her future as well as the future of those that will follow in her footsteps. Seeing this term from another perspective definitely makes me rethink the wording. Luckily it wasnt a term I often used. I seldom think of myself as an “autism anything” I’m a mom. One of my kids has autism, one of my kids has curly red hair, one of my kids has dark brown eyes.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m a NT grandma that is co-parenting Ben with his NT mama. I completely understand how the thought of a parent wanting to fight against autism would be upsetting to autistic adults and tennis and children old enough to understand.
    I have had discussions with a few autistic adults involved in the ND Movement about how autism can be disabling. Ben is disabled to a degree because he’s autistic. His dx is “severe classic autism” and I think a lot of people in the ND Movement forget that there are children and adults who need 24/7 support just to keep them safe. That it’s more than just a difference. I think some parents feel attacked when trying to connect with other parents for support through some of the rough times when someone from the ND Movement belittles them for feeling overwhelmed by some of the issues that occur with the “severe” end of the spectrum. Sorry this is so long. I’m an absolute ally! No ABA, no trying to change who Ben is, 100% accepting and accommodating. I can’t speak for other parents but I would ask the ND Movement to remember that sometimes autism is disabling an the impact that has on the autistic person and their carers.

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  4. I’m an NT parent and a huge D&I advocate in my work place. Learning about neurodiversity has not only changed how I experience and embrace my daughter’s autism, it has changed how I think about diversity in all its forms. Keep doing what you’re doing—you are changing the world for the better!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m an NT (I assume) parent of an autistic daughter, and I support the neurodiversity movement. I work to learn from neurodiverse people and amplify their voices. More people need to be listening to and learning from them. And my daughter is one of them. I work to find ways for her to communicate, because I know she has thoughts and feelings that too many people–sometimes including me, in spite of my best efforts–don’t know how to recognize. And to that end, I am constantly trying to let her know that I understand that communication is a two-way street, that she is not the only person who is learning, that she can teach me just as I teach her.

    I’m not getting it all right. That’s not possible, no matter how hard I try. But I want her to know, deep down in her bones, that her mother loves and accepts her and knows that she is valuable as she is. Because she is. And you are. And everyone is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this. I’ve made it my life mission to learn as much as I can about my boy, assuming that I am a NT mom. I am by no means perfect, and many days I wish I could do better — but I try to be my best for him and to advocate for him and others like him.
    Acceptance. Inclusion. Integrity. Sincerity. The desire to learn. These are the things I desire most from the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am an NT mom to my ND son. I support the ND movement and have searched out actually autistic mentors to learn from as soon as my son was diagnosed. Because I knew and know my son isn’t broken…he’s a kick ass, intelligent, honest, kind, funny, empathetic human that I have been so lucky to call him my son, my friend and I’d walk through fire to have his back.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am a NT mama to an awesomely autistic boy. His father, my partner of nearly 18 years is also neurodiverse. I am biracial and view neurodiversity for my family much the way I view issues of race for myself–it is good and beautiful exactly as it is, and accommodated to make the space necessary to allow it to be exactly as it is. My kiddo needs space to be fully as he is; autism isn’t an enemy to be battled any more than I am gonna “overcome” either of my identities. I DEEPLY value the information you provide here and rely on it. Please keep up the great work.

    Like

  9. I am a Non autistic parent to 2 boys, 8 &7. My oldest loves purple, all things paper, and skittles ♡ my other son loves to squish anything and paint all day. They are older brothers to their baby brother who is NT and loves cars. I need the perspective of autistic adults to help my children. You make me want to be a better parent. Thank you. I would want to know how to be supportive to my children when they are having a rough time. Either sensory overload or my 2nd gets stuck in this yelling fit and I cant seem to help him come down. Do I leave him alone? Do I talk him through it? I have never. I have never considered myself a “warrior” parent. I dont like that term. But I am a fierce advocate and I want my children to be great self advocates however they see fit. I appreciate you. Thank you!

    Like

  10. I am one of those parents who struggles to know how to best help & understand my two amazing girls. Thank you for helping me to see beyond the Autism Speaks point of view.

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  11. I am a NT mom of a beautiful, creative and kind 14 year old woman. I have only recently started learning about the ND movement through your posts. I realize I have missed out on key information and points of view. I cringe sometimes because I am guilty of some of the misinformation that is talked about. Mostly I am really excited to learn that there is a ND movement, and that my job is to empower and not to fix. I have learned so much and I read your posts everyday. I’m directed to new information from other writers who share their experiences. I am working hard now to control my responses, respect my daughters boundaries and ensure others in her life learn acceptance. Thank you for changing my views and giving me confidence. Please keep writing. No parent is perfect and we try our best based on the information and circumstances given to us. I’m so grateful that we have this platform to openly discuss adult autistic experiences. My daughter does not share a lot of her experience but I can see her reflected in many stories I have read. It is like a window into her world which provides clarity and safety.

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  12. Hi! Thank you for doing what you do. It does help. I’m a NT mother of an autistic kid, and it was really scary to get that diagnosis and then read the “mainstream” literature on the subject. But then I found you and the rest of the ND community, and everything started to make sense. You really do an invaluable work.

    Like

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