Your Kid Is Weird: Life on the Autism Spectrum

Guest Post by Lee of A Geeky Ginger.

Sometimes, as special needs parents, we feel a need to protect our kids. We might feel like we should hide the things that might make them seem 'weird' to other people. But here's a thought:  What if we embraced what makes our children different? This mom is sharing what it's like to be a child on the spectrum, always trying to hide who you are - and why that's a good reason to embrace your kids' weirdness.

Your kid is weird. Your child is strange. So is mine. So is every child on the autism spectrum.  

We are raising kind-hearted, genuine, loving, sensitive, compassionate, passionate, intelligent, incredible people. That, my friends, is something we should be very proud of.

Unfortunately, not many people are proud to admit who their child is. 

Some people try to hide it from the world. They don't want to "label" their child. They don't want other children, parents, teachers, or random strangers looking at their child as the autistic kid.

But why not? Why hide that? 

You and I know our kids will never get away from it. They will not suddenly wake up one day and be neurotypical. I know this because I have yet to wake up neurotypical.

I have high-functioning autism (formerly known as Asperger's) and I am completely happy to tell others. I also let others know my child has it.

Why shout out to the world how weird your child is?

Here's why I tell people my kid has autism.

People Walk Away from the 'Weird' Kid

One reason I tell people that my child has autism, is that I have watched my daughter around people for years. I've watched the way she tries to interact and play. I've seen how, in an effort to join the conversation, she blurts out awkward, unrelated things. 

Then I watch that person walk away from her.

I remember doing this (being awkward) as a child. Every day. I didn't stop experiencing uncomfortable situations until I was in my late teens and had absolutely no friends. 

I had to learn, in the most painful way, not to let people know who and how I am just so they would talk to me. Invariably, my quirks made an appearance and my friends would leave me behind.

In time, I learned a lesson: You have to lay your cards on the table. Otherwise, how will you know who is willing to deal with your weirdness?

I want to dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding autism.

Another reason I tell people my daughter is on the autism spectrum is because I get to crush any misconceptions people have about us.

Every time I tell someone my daughter has autism, the response is: "Really? I never would have known!"

That's right. You wouldn't have knownYou would have simply thought she was weird and never given her a chance to be the incredible person she is. 

I get to dispel all the myths and misconceptions that people have about those of us on the spectrum. I really shock them when I say, "Yeah, I'm on the spectrum, too!"

Again - they would never have known.

Being silent about autism does not help the person who has it.

Ignorance is not bliss; It's silent suffering. Because little was known about autism when I was a kid, I grew up never being able to explain, to myself or anyone else, why I am the way I am. I couldn't understand...

... why I have words or even entire thoughts repeat in my head - endlessly!

... why I have an obsession with counting (counting anything - steps I'm taking, syllables as people are speaking, or whatever else I can count). 
... why I must learn everything about any topic in which I have an interest (fixations), causing me to have so much more knowledge on those topics than most of my peers.
... why I have to do things a certain way - otherwise it cannot be done. 
... why I can't look at people in the eye when I'm talking. 
... why I picture absolutely everything I am saying in my head, and use my hands like a theatrical performance to explain to you what I am picturing. 

Learning about autism set me free to be myself.

Learning I was on the spectrum gave me the ability to understand myself. It also gave me the ability explain me to everyone else. Suddenly, I had the chance to have the life that I needed and wanted. I could finally converse with people in a way that worked for me without the other person thinking I am weird. 

When I experienced how great that felt, I had to show my child how to do the same.

I want my autistic child to be comfortable in her own skin.

I want her to develop a self-awareness and appreciation for who she is. 

How could I not? How could I deprive her of the chance of having a happy existence? Why would we ever want to do that to our children?

Your kid is weird. You know it. I know it. And I guarantee that your child knows it.

Let them be happy about it. Let them share it. Announce it to the world. Shout it out when he enters a playground. Hold a sign. Wear a t-shirt. Let him tell others how weird and awesome he is!

Your Kids Is Weird: Life on the Autism Spectrum

Allow him to say that he is awkward, but can find amusement in anything.

These kids have a hard time with conversation, but you'll never know a more honest person in your lifetime. Even if a person with autism is incredibly shy, they make the best friends.

Let them show the world who they are, and how much better life is because they're a part of it.

Your kid is weird - and perfect.

Lee is the Central Florida mom raising two wonderful aspie girls. She's a homeschooling, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, Disney mom, who is also Babywearing Educator. 

You can find her blogging at A Geeky Ginger.

(Also 10 Things You Should Know about "Aspies.")

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  1. WOW!! What a wonderful post. ALL parents of special needs need to read this, not just parents of kids on the Autism spectrum. Great job on your first post Lee Anne your words are all so very true!!

    1. Thank you! I absolutely agree with you on that, but I think it's really hard for most people to do. Most people have these special needs kids and can't connect with them or understand it, themselves. I've been fortunate enough to be an aspie, raising an aspie. I know how she thinks and feels. But everyone should be more accepting and enthusiastic about their kids needs :)

    2. I agree. It wasn't so diffiult to raise you because you were like me. I understood how you thought and felt. With the bipolar kids, however, I find it difficult to understand issues because I'm not bipolar.. It's a big puzzle I'm constantly trying to put together. That's why most of the time I consult with one of my adult bipolar kids - "Hey.. she's doing this. Why?" In a way, having those older bipolar bears makes it easier to deal with the younger ones.

  2. Anonymous1/30/2015

    Thanks for this! My daughter is PDD NOS and yes, she's 'weird' as in different from her peers and we have to be able to deal with this.

  3. Anonymous9/23/2017

    This made me exhale a sigh of relief. ahhhhhh....After years of searching for what was 'wrong' with my child, we've finally had someone listen and really dig deep with testing (instead of superficial 'counseling,' followed by, "Oh, she's fine"). I never would have thought I'd be relieved, almost happy, to see 'symptoms consistent with mild autism' on a report/test result. Anyway--just starting to read people's thoughts on this factor combined with homeschooling. So blessed to have found you and your mom's website.


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