Last night my hubby and I were discussing what we would do if God suddenly appeared before us and granted a wish. We agreed upon asking for our son’s speech but after a moment of pause we were misty eyed just thinking about how much we would miss our little guy with his quirky speech and amazingly intelligent re-use of the very few words he knows to get his point across. Yup, we concluded that even if he never caught up on his speech and had multiple sensory issues and was unable to adapt socially, we will always love him the way he is. We just wanted the world to be just as happy about him as we are.
It also got me thinking what parents of other autistic kids might ask for if there were just one wish that they could be granted. So, I went on to Facebook to find out. I am thankful to all the parents who provided me a response. This data is now saved on my laptop and is lovingly called “Wishes-data”.
As for the results – they were not surprising but neither were they predictable. If you thought all that parents wanted was the Autism to go away, you cannot be more wrong.
Of the 261 responses I got , only 8 said they wanted their child to be neurotypical – a mere 3%. What was most wished for ? It was acceptance and happiness with almost 50 votes each. Together, along with having friends and speech amounted for more than half of the responses.
I found this really fascinating. I really want the world out there to know that parents of autistic kids are proud of their kids as they are. Most of us don’t feel the need to change our kids. We would definitely be overjoyed if they made progress but we will be proud of them either way. What we ask for is inclusion; acceptance; that the world understands them .
Like any other parent, we wish for them to be happy however and wherever they are and we wish for them to have a companion, a friend – someone they can love and someone who can love them back. Someone they can open their heart to.
Speech and the ability to communicate is another one that a lot of the parents wish for. They long to hear that “I love you” or just a “mommy” from their kids. I can completely understand why so many parents would want this. Communication is a big piece of how we navigate this world and a huge component of how we interact with everyone around us.
Interestingly, even while autism is widely considered to have a very dominant behavior aspect to it, very few parents had that as the first thing on their mind when responding to my question. What was more important was that their child be a confident and good human being , at peace with what they are.
More than anything ,parents wish for more understanding , opportunities, safety, less bullying, and a secure future. All of this has a lot to do with how everyone else perceives autism. Apparently a lot of the challenges that Autism poses to families are not because of what their child is but because what the world is not.
For those who are curious, here is my “Wishes-data”