The other day I came across a blog by a mom who has no desire to be called a “Warrior Mom.” She feels as if the term “Warrior” makes it seem as if she were at war with who her child is. She does not feel she needs to medically treat (as in biomedical interventions) her daughter’s autism, instead she looks upon her daughter’s disorder as simply who her child is and she wants to work with therapists to optimize her child’s potential with out changing or “fixing” her child.
It is a lovely idea, but not one I can personally put into practice. I wonder if there is something less enlightened about me because I can’t see the beauty in autism. Or if I’m simply more of a base personality. But I can’t look upon autism as simply a difference in nature. No, I see it as a medical assault hoisted upon my son by a society filled with toxins, one that can, to some extent, be lifted. I am not at war with my son, on the contrary, I’m fighting daily FOR him. I’ve watched as he has improved and grown. Each time he makes a leap forward we see this illness lifting and his chances of a full life opening before him.
Before we actively went to battle against autism our son was not present behind his eyes. He made no connection with us or others. He made repetitive vocalizations and had no pragmatic language. His digestive tract was a mess and his cognitive abilities left us wondering how he would ever learn to take care of himself. But today we see a boy who’s future has expanded beyond certain group home or institutionalization. He has dreams and when he looks at me there is life behind his eyes. A life he deserves to live. And when I look at him I see him, but better yet, he sees me!
I proudly wear the costume of Warrior Mom. In my mind she is primal, strong and fierce. She shows no fear, is steely eyed and brutal. She may not be elegant but she is true and she protects her children beyond any other. (Of course “she” could be “he” as I have seen many Warrior Dads too.) But unlike that other blog mom, I will always war against all things that try to injure or take my child. And like every other Warrior Parent out there, I’ll get up tomorrow and do it again.