Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Parent Wars Part 2
So, I attended a parent coffee break sponsored by the local CARD group. I had never attended one so I was not sure what to expect.
Got there on time, picked up my coffee and headed to meet the moms. They were all sitting in a long table, about 7 of them. There was one mom who I already knew from my son's new ABA place. The table was divided already with the moms of the older kids on one side and the ones with the younger kids on the other. I introduced myself and jumped right into the small talk. As we got going, I started to talk more with "my side" - the parents of younger children.
My son is 6 so I was giving the moms of the 2 and 3 year old advice on biomedical, therapy, vaccines, etc. At one point, I was engaged in conversation with a mom who had gotten there late where I hear one of the mom of the older kids refute EVERYTHING about biomed and vaccines that I had told the mom I already knew before this meet! It happened so fast that I could not interrupt my current conversation to go back and defend her!
This mom that I already knew IS doing biomedical interventions on her 2 year old daughter and she was getting attacked by this other mom. I don't mean attacked in a rude way or anything. It was more along the lines of " listen, my son is 15 and nothing of what you are doing will work, blah blah blah- you have to accept her as is and just stick with therapy"
Just as I was finishing my conversation with the mom that had gotten there late, I turned around to join the conversation next to me and defend this mom but the group was quickly dispersing and everyone was saying goodbye. I did not get a chance to butt in and I was so upset about it. Throughout the entire morning it seemed as if it was team A against team B instead of one united support group. All of the older moms were bitter, naysaying and rolling their eyes at the mention of any intervention that was not just ST, OT or ABA. Was this a debate or a "support" group?
While I understand that perhaps 20 years ago a lot of these intervention were not available, what good do they really do by being so negative and giving "knowitall" smirks to these newer moms or toddlers? Yikes! I was furious!
I left to pick up my son from therapy and as luck would have it I ran into the mom that had gotten the grunt of the bitterness. I was so happy! I walked up to her as she loaded her toddler in the car and said "Listen, I just wanted ot mention that you have to find what is right for you and your daughter. Don't let these older moms discourage you from trying different things. What works for me might not work for you so you have to find the formula that is right for you and you only. I noticed that they were all trying to sway you otherwise. I am sorry I was not able to jump in sooner". She looked at me, paused, and said while starting to tear up " I am SO glad you are telling me this. I left there feeling so down. I felt like they were mocking and making fun of me. I was just planning on picking up my daughter and crying on my way home!"
Just then, I instinctly hugged her and told her it would be alright, to stay strong and keep looking forward. I told her she was doing amazing! Shoot, I wish my son would have been in ABA at 2!
So here we are again, talking about the parent wars for a second time on my blog. Why? My goodness, I could never look at a parent of an ASD child and tell them not to try something or that they are wasting their time! I hope that if my son reaches his teens still with an ASD diagnosis that I am not bitter like these women were towards other moms. I know there are kids who have recovered doing stuff I am doing with my child already and I still encourage others to try it because of it. So, it did not work for me, why would I discourage others not to do so? I just don't get it.
There is something seriously wrong with people in our community. We need to stand united people! Cut the crap!