Doug and I facilitate a support group for family and friends of people with Aspergers. Sometimes, the meetings are wonderful. Other times, I just feel like getting up and walking out. Those are the meetings where I sit silently and bite my tongue. They are the meetings that are always dominated by the parents of young children with Aspergers. They are meetings devoted to tales of having all their children’s fillings replaced and taking them for blood chelation therapy to remove the metals. They are about alternative-care providers who evaluate their children for metals based on absolutely nothing scientific. They are about discussing vitamin therapies and special diets. The parents are angry at the government for causing their children to be on the Autistic spectrum and they are determined to cure their children.
I admit that there were dark, tantrum-filled days when I wanted a child who reacted somewhat predictably to his environment and responded appropriately to discipline and rewards. However, I never, ever felt desperate enough to buy magic beans or endanger my child’s health. I have come to a very happy place in my journey as the parent of a teen with Aspergers. I like my son just as he is right now. He has an unique personality, but that is WHO he is and not WHAT he is. His personality needs no “cure”. My only long-term worries for him are that he find other people who see him as I do. I don’t want him to feel alone and isolated because he is different. I want him to find his niche and be a positive contribution to society, with the sense of belonging that comes from interacting with others.