Friday, November 8, 2013

"What you Should Know About My Child"

This quote is an excerpt taken from M.M. Bristol (May 1987) Impact of Autistic Children on Families, Invited Presentation, 20th Anniversary Symposium, "Autism, the Emotional and Social Dimension".

It is so important to keep in mind when working with our clients and their families....

"Remember that he is first of all, my son.
Let me see him smiling in his sleep
and let me think about how handsome he is,
not about how delayed that smile was in coming.
Help me not to lose sight of my son
in the shadow of his limitations.

I know you care for my son,
and that you work hard with him.
I need your expertise in helping him become
all that he is capable of being.
You need my help in understanding who he is
and in following through at home
with things that are important.

Remember that you send him home at night
and have weekends off and paid vacations.
Let me have the luxury of taking a vacation,
sometimes physically, sometimes just emotionally -
for a day, a week, a month - without your judging me.
I will be there for him when you are long gone.

I love my son with an intensity
that you can only imagine.
If on a given day, I am tired or cross with him,
listen to me, lighten my burden.

Celebrate with me,
Rejoice in who he is,
in who he will become,
But forgive me if from time to time
I shed a tear
for who he might have been."

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