What if..


I am in a bit of a quandary. To tell or not to tell? That is my question.

To tell what? To tell Mia that she has autism. And by telling, I do not mean sitting down at the kitchen table and having a discussion – I don’t feel Mia is at the point in her life where she would need to have this kind of talk.

But, obviously, that day will come. And we will have to discuss it. We will have to place a name on this other part of her life. We will have to name the driving force behind her need to flap her arms and line things up. We will have to put a name on the reason why she has difficulty speaking (and difficulty socializing with peers – the direct effect of her communication problems.) Is this a word better not kept from her? Or is it something that should be.

I wasn’t lying. I am in a bit of a quandary. And this is why. These are my fears. These are my “what if’s”..

What if… we use the word freely in her presence?  One day she may realize its cursed meaning and begin to allow the limitations put in place by society to slowly overtake her dreams for the future. What if she allows the negative imagine of autism to creep in and take over her free spirit and happiness; and her potential?

What if… we stop using this word altogether in her presence? When the time comes to put a name to this other force in her life she will wonder why it was never spoken. She will wonder why we kept it from her. She will think we didn’t want to say it out of fear that speaking it made it real. Or, worse yet, she may think we are so embarrassed by it that we wished to erase it from our lives completely. What if our covering it up forces her to believe it is something that needs to be hidden?

But, what if… We never keep this word from her and our positive reinforcement of the word helps to shape her future in amazing ways. What if our forthrightness with the word creates a vacuum that eliminates society’s hurtful views, thus strengthening her worth in her own eyes?

But, what if… We keep this word from her and she grows up never realizing there are people out there who view her as less. What if we keep this word from her and because there is no name there is no limitation. What if our silences keeps her from allowing negativity to enter her thought process and shape her future?

Is it better to allow this knowledge from the start or is it better to keep it hushed up?

I just do not know.


I may just be delusional. Maybe she already knows. Maybe I need not to worry. Maybe Mia’s other worldly understanding will once again transcend that of mine and answer this question for me.


4 thoughts on “What if..

  1. Tell her!

    And tell her the common belief is wrong! She is Autistic not a dead human walking! It is not like dying.

  2. Catlyn at http://www.confessionsofanorthernbelle.com/ sent me the link to your blog — I linked up to her today, and she thought I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say. I have an 11 year old son with ASD. In our situation, he attends a private school for kids on the spectrum. We have been quite open about it, when he was younger, he used to say he has “Auptimism” (I did a blog post recently about that http://www.limefreckle.blogspot.ca/2013/02/surviving-early-years-with-auptimism.html

    It is a private decision that you have to make, and I suspect you will know what to do when the time comes. For what it’s worth, I feel that Autism is so common these days, he’s really not so different from so many other kids, so I’m trying to raise him with as positive an attitude as we can, and I want him to not be ashamed of it. Although I know there have been times when he’s been socializing with typical kids and he didn’t want them to know….so he must to some degree feel that there is something “different” about him, and it makes me sad. I hope that he will grow up to feel proud of it, and to also realize that it’s just one facet of him!

  3. Gilly (I think I have mentioned before on facebook) has adhd. He knows although I don’t think he fully has a grasp on it. He knows that’s why somedays he can’t focus and sit still other days he says its because he had “too much sugar” even though my mother in law is very good about limiting his sugar intake.

    I have bipolar I have since I was young probably around 10. Although I wasn’t fully diagnosed til after I had my son because of my post pardum depression. So how did I know if I didn’t find out til I was 19 easy I’m different not bad different just different then others around me.

    I looking back can see how my moods swung. And all I can think is “why didn’t anyone care?” yes I was in thearipy at ten (actually younger) but my mom refused to deal with it. She didn’t want to accept it and still doesn’t she constantly tells me I shouldn’t be taking my medication.

    I feel weither you tell Mia or not she knows on some level. Just as I did.

    Ps sorry I rambled a little/lot

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