my baby rides the short bus, too March 8, 2010Posted by caizooka in autism, autism parenting.
Tags: autism parenting
I went to a book reading last week of, ‘My Baby Rides the Short Bus‘. It’s a collection of essays written by ‘non-conformist’ parents of disabled children. I have to admit that I didn’t know that going into it. Had I known, I might not have gone. I would consider myself somewhat conformist. Conformity is defined as ‘to act in accordance or harmony; to comply; to become similar in form or character; to bring to agreement.’ Raised Japanese American and Catholic pretty much screams ‘conformity’. Who are non-conformist parents anyways? What would I have in common with them? I decided to listen and find out. One of the moms began reading her essay from the book and I was completely taken in. She describes herself as being a lesbian teenager mom with a deaf son. She spoke through her tears as she read off the page. You could feel the pain that she has endured through out her journey and also the tremendous amount of love that she has for her son. The honesty in which she writes and tells her story is breathtakingly beautiful. All of the stories were like this. Parents making tough choices to do the best for their kids. Anticipating what their families needs are and sacrificing their own. Uneasy of a world that judges our ‘not normal’ children and fearful of where they will find their place.
So, if being a ‘non-conformist’ parent means that I am a mom that is willing to stand up for her child and guide them despite the prejudices and judgements, then, ‘yes, please, sign me, up, too!’
I’ve read about half of the essays in the book and I’ve learned alot about what it takes to be an advocate for your child, how to navigate the IEP process, and how to bring laughter to the surface in difficult times. I’m grateful to this group of parents for sharing their stories.