Change

Filed Under (Acceptance, The Joy Of Autism, To Get To The Other Side) by Estee on 04-11-2009

LongestBrigde-hangzhou2I’m changing the name of this blog and bidding farewell to The Joy of Autism. I ran that blog since 2005 and when things changed last year, I felt that my blog had to change with me. As I’ve written above, I’ve got good reason “To Get To The Other Side.” In a minute, a spouse can leave, a child can disappear from their school, another innocent can be robbed of their life too soon. Sadly, there are many tragic stories out there, and it’s important to keep on going.

I don’t believe that all change is for the better, but I believe in inevitable change. I know that we cannot control the child who is born to us, we cannot pick the day we are going to die, and we do not hope for love to leave us. Yet we can control how we deal with our own circumstances and ourselves. We can make our lives better by how we choose to respond to change.

Since before the beginning of The Joy of Autism blog in 2005, I chose to accept autism, not fight it. I chose to accept Adam, not necessarily all the views and therapists who said that he had to change in order to be better — who called his “stims” abnormal and bad and used what I consider difficult, judgmental language and behaviour towards him. Everyday, even though many other voices and opinions are out there, and I hear them, I make a daily choice. And I believe the choice is a healthy one for myself, Adam and the rest of his family.

No, it’s not easy now that I am a single mom for all kinds of reasons. One main reason is that I am human and I fall into that well of fret every now and again that cannot be put at quick ease with the help of a partner — will Adam be able to advocate for himself regularly by device, by speech? Will he be able to tell me if someone bullies him at school, or God forbid, something worse? If I stay strong, can he? Will that be enough? It may become somewhat gratifying in knowing that I have stood up to my fears all on my own, and maybe even a self-delusion that I have not even while in partnership. All I can say is that Nietsche’s “Was mich nicht bringt, macht mich starker, [sorry, no umlaut in this blogger]” famous line better be right. What I know for sure is that Adam keeps me strong enough.

In the spirit of the Eagles song In A New York Minute (see below), I am appreciative for what I have today and know that change will inevitably come again tomorrow. I’m so appreciative to the life that The Joy of Autism took on, the people it brought to Adam and I, and what I learned by doing it which is why it was hard to let it go. If you remember, it reached a wide readership when it was on Blogger, and for unfortunate reasons, it was suddenly taken down and I rebuilt the blog on this site. It has never been the same since.

I will continue to write about autism as we live it, and hopefully will do so more skillfully as a writer who wishes to improve her punch at the craft. Also important, I hope, I’ll be writing about writing as I work on my book, which may be the most exciting part (and probably the most insane) for me. I started it when Adam was two years old and I have not yet finished it. “The events in our lives have no inherent meaning,” says Debbie Ford. “We are the narrators and the ones who give them meaning.” I figure I have a compulsion to write (since grade five) and to give everything in my life meaning (since grade five).

I hope to have some new kind of fun and make some new discoveries along my journey of getting to that “other side,” where-ever that may be on December 31st, 2010. I also like to think that perhaps you, dear and generous reader, may find some of what I have to share a little useful (and entertaining) as I attempt to broaden the view and, gulp, do what I have always wanted to do.

So, farewell to The Joy of Autism blog. No matter “the best of times and the worst of times,” for that’s the given. The joy can remain in the journey.

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About Me


ESTÉE KLAR

I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (www.taaproject.com), and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.