Reasons why we, the parents of children with low-functioning autism, don't write or talk as often as we might about how tough our lives can be....
Because we don't want to hurt those who share the "autism" part of the diagnosis but not the "low-functioning" part.
Because we know it's natural for people to only have a limited capacity to hear about how hard things can be before they get tired of hearing it.
Because we are too tired to talk about anything.
Because we know it's more politically correct to emphasize the positive.
Because sometimes we are so used to it that it doesn't seem newsworthy.
Because the other people living this life already know how it is, and we think people not living the life generally will never quite get it anyway.
Because we think if we don't put the worst of it into words, it won't quite be as true.
Because we have been taught there is no point in complaining about things that can't be changed.
Because we don't want to hear about "solutions" that don't exist or don't work.
Because we are tired of hearing about all that Temple Grandin's mother did.
Because we feel secretly like we should be doing a better job, and if we were, it wouldn't be so hard.
Because we love our kids so much that it's hard to believe, and admitting how hard our lives are with those same kids feels wrong.
Reasons why we should break the silence and talk and write and shout about it...
Because otherwise, the world assumes autism means Temple Grandin and math geniuses and slightly quirky girls who don't get diagnosed until high school because it's so hard to tell they are actually autistic.
Because maybe, just maybe, if people knew the truth, they would want some of their tax dollars to go toward helping us.
Because when our kids melt down in public, it would help if people didn't assume we were bad parents or they were bad kids.
Because most people could handle the truth.
Because our kids deserve to be written about, to be seen, to be known, as much as all the other kids on earth.
Because of books like the one I read about girls with autism with the line I will never forget "Girls with autism have a very bright future", and the chapter of advice about when our girls get to college.
Because not talking about something means it's an unspeakable tragedy, and our kids' lives are not an unspeakable tragedy.
Because the school system needs to figure out what to do with kids who have had many years of academics and have not learned anything academic.
Because we love our kids so much that we can tell the truth about how our lives truly are in a way that still lets that love shine through.
Because try as we might not to, someday we parents are going to die, and that is the scariest part of all, and it might be less scary if society actually knew our kids, our kids who will someday be adults and will need help that does not yet exist.