IMA faculty member Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s essay on raising her son, who has asperger’s syndrome, recently appeared in Yes Magazine. “Love Leads Into Mystery: Raising a Child With Asperger’s,” first appeared in My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities. Mirriam-Goldberg writes of the autistic spectrum disorder that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for people to read social cues, and how this “disorder” is also a new way to order and see the world. Here is an excerpt from the essay:
Daniel teaches me that all rules are arbitrary, answers are illusory, future visions are incomplete. He teaches me about the psychic wounds I carry into my parenting, and my only choice is to heal myself. He teaches me to be more patient, more accepting, more tolerant not just of him but of other kids. I see a nine-year-old hyper boy out in public these days, and I don’t get irritated with him; instead, I feel empathy and wonder how his parents are doing.
That love leads us into mystery where no one can say what comes next, or how, or why.
Because Daniel is now 22, Mirriam-Goldberg asked him if he would like to have his own say more directly about growing up with asperger’s, and the result was an interview she did with him (click here to see it). He explains how he sees himself now, what helped and didn’t when it came to learning to read social cues, and that if he could speak to his 9-year-old self, “I would not ask myself to stop being outspoken about my opinions.”