So, there's that age-old question that gets tossed around a lot: "If there was a pill that would take away your child's autism, would you give to to him?" The politically correct answer, and one that I hear most of the time, is no. Because my child is a unique snowflake and I would never want to change who he is; autism is a part of him and I wouldn't want him to be a different person.
See, I have a different take on that. My son is sweet and mellow and kind and scary smart and beautiful and happy... and he would still be all of things without the autism. In my opinion, not having autism would not change any of his wonderful qualities, it would not change who he is: he would still be the same person, just without the burdens that autism brings.
Now, it's important to mention that I am very much aware at how I have been changed as a result of autism. It's brought out my Mother Warrior; my "I am his fiercest advocate" side. It's allowed me to appreciate, so much more than I would have, all the NT-like things that both of my kids do (that are actually quite annoying).
The endless string of questions: I remember the day when I longed just to hear "Mama"; I can tolerate these questions that seem to never end.
When they sit on me until my legs and arms fall asleep: I remember the day when I wished he would just give me a hug without squirming to get away; I can deal with numb arms a little while longer.
How they insist on doing things for themselves, but not up to my "standards": I remember when I thought I would always have to get him dressed; he can go to school with his shirt on inside out.
And there are more, of course, but the truth is that it isn't about me. This question isn't about how I have been changed, and how much my life has, dare I say, benefited from having a child with autism. I may say that I wouldn't want to change anything about who he is because things are perfect just as they are, because they're not perfect for him. So, it's not about how much I've learned to appreciate these qualities in myself... it's about him.
So, yes. If there was a pill that would allow him to walk into the kitchen when there was already food on the table and not make him gag and have to run out of the room... I would give it to him.
And if there was a pill that would help him be able to navigate simple social situations without anxiety and without the ridicule and torment that I know he will face some day... I would give it to him.
And if there was a pill that would take away the unexplained and extreme anxiety about the fact that the light in his brother's room is on a dimmer switch... I would give it to him.
And if there was a pill that could help him take the thoughts that he has inside his head and form them into words, without having to struggle, and without frustration and with enough clarity that other people understood what he was saying... I would give it to him.
And after the pill, he would still be sweet and mellow and kind and scary smart and beautiful and happy... and he would also be free. Free of these things that burden him; free to be who he is.
So yes... I would do that for him. If I could.