Friday, September 9, 2011

Autism Diagnosis: To Grieve or Not to Grieve, that is the question.

Grieving Autism? Not so much : Laura Shumaker : City Brights

Recently I received an invitation to attend a Support Group for autism parents put on by a community organization. "Please come join us," it said. "Our support group is focused on helping parents grieve the ASD diagnosis, on strategies for healing and moving on."

Grieve the diagnosis.

I swallowed the bile in my mouth and hit the delete key, but it stayed with me the rest of the day.

The use of the "grieving" metaphor is not fresh and new in the autism world. I have heard it often in the ten years since my son was diagnosed. It never fails to raise that acid taste.

I've been told that I should grieve for the loss of the child I dreamed of having. Or the loss of the life I hoped he would have. Or the loss of the family I dreamed of, or the parent I wanted to be. No matter how it is phrased, the use of the word "grieving" implies that my son may as well be dead and I should mourn.

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