Thursday, November 4, 2010
My son doesn't have a disability, he just has extra challenges.
There's nothing that Joseph is not able to do, it's just harder for him to do some things than it is for typical kids. But there are things that he is better at than typical kids.
Autism is about excesses and deficits. Everyone has them, people with autism just have them to the nth degree. Some deficits cause more problems than others, the difficulty he's having learning to talk would be the most obvious example. But he has already shown us that he has an exceptional (or excessive) aptitude for solving problems.
I used to think that saying someone was "differently-abled" or "x-challenged" was a bunch of politically correct rubbish. It still sounds treacly-sweet to me, but now I understand it better and have more respect for that way of looking at it. This is yet another way that having an autistic son has forced me to become a better person.
I've heard it put many ways, but I think the simplest is this: My son is different, not less. (I think I'm paraphrasing one of my many friends on Twitter.) The cynical voice in my head says that this is just a coping mechanism, but the rest of me tells that voice to STFU. ;)