I hate to say it, and it hasn’t come up they are all ASD diagnosed, but the idea of having a normal child in my care full time is terrifying.
I’m sure I would love my neurotypical (typical brained) child, there are lots of kids I like & even love who may not all be autistic. But could I understand him/her, could I communicate with him or her, would he/she understand me? I live in a family where we are all autistic, except Mum in the granny flat, would a neurotypical child be as alien to us as the rest of you denizens of the real world.
I do not understand neurotypicals and quite frankly I fear them. Sometimes when my children go to school; or out anywhere really, & return with new ideas I feel they are being wrenched away from me, corrupted, normalised. These real world ideas are gathering in them, multiplying until they become one of you. Great they will be able to cope out there in the real world but the will be forever lost to me. We will still love each other but we will never understand each other again, and without that understanding they will be embarrassed by me, reject me, pity me & avoid me.
I do not understand how you ‘normal’ people think or feel & I know it is hard for you to understand me. Deceit is an intrinsic part of social cohesion & despite years of studying body language, psychology, communication & anthropology (mainly from books) I can not understand the rules. Everything you or say is suspect, do you mean it literally, figurative or as social mollification. I don’t care if you are conning me, then you are being bad, I feel like I am only getting half or less of the conversation. Because I have no clear idea of where you really stand during any time apart you could realise that you really hate me & I will walk up to you obliviously treating you like a friend or say my mother and you are seething with rage and may start screaming out in rage at all the things I have said & done and not realised it. And to top it all if I don’t understand you and you don’t understand me we are not even because you are normal; therefore you are right, therefore I am wrong & therefore I am evil. I am not delusional I am well aware that this is totally crazy and I don’t believe it, but for as long as I can remember I haven’t been able to stop these ideas echoing in my head.
So would I be able to nurture an alien in my nest? Would I communicate my love or my fear? Would my fear damage the child? Would the child grow to hate me; for my craziness, my fears, my limitations?
I try to be honest with my kids abut when I’m wrong, sick, irrational, irrationally fearful. They need it, they have their own similar problems, it gives them hope to face the challenges. I think I would explain it differently to a child that wasn’t going through the same things. I wonder if they would receive less help than they would need because they were not disabled but they would be dis abled by the unusual nature of their home life; they would need assistance adjusting to the real world too.
If your child is diagnosed with ASD you don’t have to lie to yourself, you have an alien in your nest. The Autistic brain is shaped & ‘wired’ differently, not to say that they won’t reach the same destination, they may just need different maps. Acknowledging the differences, your uncertainty to yourself, your support people and eventually when they are ready to your child, brings the problem out into the open where it can be easily dealt with. I feel a bit weirded out because my kid is very different to me, well I know that now I can make sure I deal with it unhindered by either hidden resentment or guilt.
I still wouldn’t do it if I had the choice. I’m a coward and it is a hard row to hoe. I’m more than content with my 4 ASD daughter, my dog & kitten with separation anxiety and the normalish pets I have manuals on how to treat. Good luck!