I read this article today and it made me mad, as usual. God save me from adult siblings of people with autism, crying, CRYING, about how hard their life was because their SIBLING had autism. Can they hear themselves, these people? How do you justify that? How must that make their parents feel? Wretches, each and every one.
But it's not the article that I want to write about. I want to write about what I was thinking about today, which is that the author of the article writes about how loud her brother Anthony is. Our own personal Anthony is pretty loud. If I heard him at the Target or something, especially ten years ago me, I'd think "ugh, that kid is loud! Why doesn't his mother shut him up?". But of course I don't feel that way now. Now if I heard a kid like that in Target, I'd think "why doesn't Mike shut him up?". Ha! But seriously, Anthony is loud and I'm sure it's upsetting to people. I'm sure it's annoying. But guess what? I have to listen to a LOT of things that I don't want to listen to. When I was in Hoboken, I had to walk to the bus stop, take a bus into the city, and either walk across town or take the subway and guess what? I had to listen to, and SEE a lot of stuff I didn't want to see!
Every day of my life, I have to hear people. I have to hear Maria, even in my damned dreams, practically! Do you know how many people ask me if Mike and I know how babies are made? Or if we have a tv? Every day I have to listen to clerks in stores babble on and on and ON about THEIR lives and guess what? I do not care! But do I roll my eyes, do I tell them I can't TAKE their questions? No! I smile and say, oh, hm, sure, your granddaughter is having a baby? She's 12? How lovely, best of luck!
I hear people swearing all day long, I have to listen to crying babies and jackhammers and God knows what else. I have to listen to grown men say HEY! and snap their fingers at me just because I am a waitress. The bad grammar that I have to listen to on a daily basis would fill a LARGE BOOK. I know perfectly neuro-typical people who are so loud they make me want to put my fingers in my ears while they are talking to me. But do I say HEY, FREAK! SHUT UP!? No. No, I don't and do you know why? Because I live in the world. I am a part of humanity and this is our social contract. You can't just go around telling people that they are too loud, too dumb, too obnoxious.
But. BUT. People think they can say this about their own siblings! Anthony isn't an animal. He is a human being, to quote The Elephant Man. He is my little boy, my baby, Mike's baby, Maria and Veronica and Felicity's big brother and I think it's part of our family contract that we love him and stick up for him and don't sit around feeling sorry for how his AUTISM affects US! Lord. LORD. I am glad I am not a person like that, and I am willing to bet that I am not going to raise any children like that. If you are a person who is bothered by my son doing some vocal stimming so that he can feel good, I would have to suggest that you put your fingers in your ears or get some earplugs. And then I guess, if I'm being honest, I would suggest that you take those earplugs and stick them in ... your ear. :)