This week, I’m struggling with being neurodiverse and finding other ND parents of ND kids.
This Week in Autism
A few days ago I told a new person that my son has autism. I tend to keep it to myself because I get upset with those who have bad reactions, such as suggesting vaccines caused it. Few have had such reactions but that could be because I don’t tell many people. I don’t want to lose respect for anyone else.
The friend I told was surprised because we text regularly and I had never mentioned it before this week. She reacted well, which is to say she noted autism was common and then turned the conversation to whether I had anyone with whom I talked about it, such as a support group.
I’m not the type of person who wants to put in the effort that in-person groups require. Most are during work hours, but nowhere near where I work. Beyond that, I just want info on how to help my son do things he would like, such as joining a soccer team. I’m not sure what “support” would do for me.
Luckily, I have amazing friends. They are starting to put me in contact with their friends who have autism in their families, and my husband has made friends with other parents at my son’s school. I’m truly not antisocial. I used to be the kind of person who talked to everyone, from cashiers at stores to people sitting next to me in a waiting room. I’m so exhausted lately that I hardly leave the house except for work, let alone to start conversations with people I don’t know.
I saw this article and it made me realize I really need to stop and rethink my whole attitude towards telling people. Nearly everyone I’ve told has friends or family members who have autistic loved ones. True, sometimes they tell me to talk to Autism $peaks, which will not be happening. But most of the time they tell me about their experiences generously, thinking only about what will help me help my son.
Great, so I should just go ahead and join something, right? The problem is, ADHD makes that tough. I have no idea where to start. I don’t have any other leads beyond the aforementioned distant and work hours-only local support groups. And let’s be honest: my easily distracted attention span isn’t going to make it easy to follow any lead I may find in the future.
All this to say while there are many resources for parents to autistic children, the content for neurodiverse parents of neurodiverse kids is quite limited.