I am not the most sane, rational person you’ll ever meet. In fact, if you happen to read this blog AND read my other, weirder blog, you might actually have to wonder if I use a ghostwriter for this normal-sounding one. Nope. I come over here to talk about autism and I try really hard to sound like a grown-up. I happen to let my hair down on my “other” blog where I write about getting goats drunk for the purpose of milking them.
So on my “other” blog, I posted my response to the recent ugliness in which a Canadian woman shoved a piece of hate mail under her neighbor’s door. If you haven’t seen the hate mail, I’m not going to share it here because this blog is about support and education. It’s over on my “other” blog, as is my response the to the letter. Be warned. It recommends choking the woman with her own uterus. Read at your own risk.
But here on the normal, grown-up blog, I’d like to post something that was brought to my attention today: the mother’s response. This was written by
the mother of the boy who was so horribly called-out for his autism, responding to the as-of-yet coward who has not come forward and claimed what she did.
UPDATE: Someone brought to my attention that this letter is NOT from the actual boy’s mother, but is the response from the mother of another child with autism, basically expressing her respectful views towards that hateful person. I’m still for the choking thing, but we can’t all be as creative as me. Read on!
By Tracey Hilliard
Dear Pissed Off Mother,
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Matthew’s Mom, Tracey. I am Dianne’s daughter, who is Matthew’s grandmother. How blessed I am to have a Mom who is willing to lend a hand and spend time with Matthew every so often when the need arises.
Matthew is an incredible young man who is 16 years old. He loves spending time outdoors ~ gardening, mowing the lawn, watching the birds, building bird houses, spending time with his dog, floating around on the river. He is outside more than he is in. How fortunate are we that he enjoys an active lifestyle. We don’t have to constantly encourage him to get away from the video games, computer or tv screen. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he will spend time in front of the computer, normally on YouTube trying to learn all he can about the interests I have listed above.
Briefly I have given you a little synopsis of Matthew’s life. Sounds pretty carefree and typical, doesn’t it? Sounds like he would blend in to an average neighbourhood pretty much unnoticed? Perhaps.
What I haven’t told you is that my son lives with Asperger’s Syndrome. Oh? You don’t know what that is? Really? Your recent correspondence led me to believe that you had all the answers and it was me that was missing the boat. Someday when you’re finished solving all the world’s problems, I’ll let you search out the term on your own as I wouldn’t want to waste your precious time right now.
What I would like to do, if you would humour me for a moment, is thank you. I want to thank you for allowing so many discussions to take place because of the views you shared with a grandmother who was spending time with her grandson. You have been the reason that a neighbourhood and a community have rallied around a family with love, respect and support. You are the reason that families all over this country and beyond in neighbourhoods of their own now have people stopping to pay a little bit more attention to the person living next door to them. I want to thank you for publicly sharing your wisdom and describing so eloquently the roads 1 in 88 families walk on a daily basis. Thank you for confirming that it isn’t always easy and for seeing, first hand, those days that require us to be a little bit stronger, those days when we have to dig down really deep to find the courage and patience to just put one foot in front of the other. Thanks for getting that there are times when a simple few minutes out in the backyard can be pretty frustrating. I’m sure you can only imagine what’s it’s like 24/7/365.
You know, it’s a shame that I can’t address you properly. I have no idea who you are. I would welcome nothing more than being able to sit down with you over a cup of coffee while our children played outside. I’m sure I’d be able to get through at least 30 seconds without being interrupted so we could discuss all these issues you have such amazing grasp of. Eventually, I suspect your identity will be revealed. Once your phone and doorbell stop ringing maybe we’ll have the opportunity to have that chat. In the meantime I’ll have to settle for the menial task of communicating with people who aren’t quite as up to speed as you claim to be. The people I’ll be having coffee with will only offer empathy, support, love and unconditional acceptance to me, Matthew and my family.
There are others I can talk with as well, you know, some of those 1 in 88 families I spoke of earlier. Yes, we talk, too. And we talk about people like you. We wonder how you became such an expert when even though we have lived this way for as long as we can remember, we still don’t know from one day to the next what all the best approaches are for our families. I can’t begin to imagine how you came to your conclusions and have it all figured out.
Alas, I have taken enough of your valuable time. You must be proud of yourself. And you should be. Because, you see, this all backfired on you. You wanted to ostracize. You wanted to bully. You wanted to belittle. But you didn’t. You brought people together. You strengthened a bond. You educated. You opened the doors to discussions. I really hope you’re not pissed off anymore.
Remember me when you have time for coffee.
I see I have a lot to learn, and I certainly plan on growing up to become Tracey. I bet she’s a class act, and I’d love to have her over for coffee (after I wash my hands from the uterus-choking incident).