Blogger Bunmi Laditan sent her 10-year-old’s school a clear message.
“Hello Maya’s teachers,
Maya will be drastically reducing the amount of homework she does this year. She’s been very stressed and is starting to have physical symptoms such as chest pain and waking up at 4 a.m. worrying about her school workload.
She’s not behind academically and very much enjoys school. We consulted with a tutor and a therapist suggested we lighten her workload. Doing 2-3 hours of homework after getting home at 4:30 is leaving little time for her to just be a child and enjoy family time and we’d like to avoid her sinking into a depression over this.”
“I don’t think I could handle having a mentally ill child” “I don’t think I can handle having a physically handicapped child” “I don’t think I could handle having a trans child” “I don’t think I could handle having a gay child” “I don’t think I could han-”
Dear parent afraid of getting the assessment: Nothing bad has ever come from a diagnosis. A diagnosis just means you can seek treatment. No one says discovering cancer early is bad. Early intervention saves lives. It’s the same for autism. Get the assessment.
Dear parent mourning their child’s diagnosis: Realize nothing has changed. Your child is the same as they were yesterday and all of the days before that. They’re the same kid that they have always been, that you have always loved. Now you’ve got answers. It’s a way forward.
Dear parent in denial about their child’s autism: It does neither of you any favors to pretend their autism doesn’t exist. Denying your child’s autism only hurts them and disconnects them from a community of peers who can help them find themselves and thrive.
Dear parent of an autistic child: Do not fear what it means for them now. They would have faced the same challenges with or without a label for it. They were autistic before their evaluation, now you just have a name for it and a access to resources.