I want to shout it from the rooftops. MY SON HAS AUTISM. In fact I do everything but shout it from the rooftops. I write about it, I talk about it, I share stories about it on social media and still there are those who think I shouldn’t talk about it at all.
It’s not my news to share.
It’s something I should hide.
He will be embarrassed I’ve told everyone.
Autism is something that needs to be hidden.
At my dad’s recent 80th birthday party my uncle came up to me and waving his finger in my face he said, “Stop telling everyone about Giovanni!”
"No, I won't stop," I said, more defiantly than I felt. He's a bit scary.
"When he goes to get a job they will know, and he won't get a job," my uncle continued.
At this I rolled my eyes and walked away. It wasn't the time or the place to explain why I want to speak openly about Giovanni. I am happy with my decision to be so open about it, except from time-to-time when little seeds of doubt start to form.
There are so many books and movies I watched before my son Giovanni was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I'd watch them and read them and think, "How sad, it must be hard," and now people think that about me. Yes it is sad, yes it is hard, but it just is.
Just because I cry about it sometimes and struggle with it often, doesn't mean I'm ashamed about it or him. I love Giovanni just the way he is, his beautiful autistic self, but he's damn hard work.