Autism: "He's Not NORMAL you say"
by Pamela Mari
This week I drug myself to my doctor on dual purpose. The first, to have my blood pressure checked as per Doctor's orders, and second to ask why I've had fever, aches, chills and general beat by a stick feeling for a few days.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Doctor. He's highly intelligent. He's calm and compassionate. He listens intently to complaints about things not necessarily connected to the reason for the visit itself.
I feel fortunate to have found him.
And, he always asks about my son with autism. This visit we started talking about why a person would complain of not being able to have a bodily function like, "I can't swallow, I can't hear" etc. when no medical evidence exits to support that complaint.
Then, out it came "Well let's face it" he said, "HE'S NOT NORMAL".
conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
It didn't hit me till I got home and I'm not sure if I'm offended or not? Of course, I suppose my son with Autism is "not normal". You would think though that someone in the medical field would be a little more word choosey when speaking to an autism mom. What ever happened to "he doesn't perceive the world the same as we do" or
"his reasons for things may not be immediately apparent to us" or
"we may not be understanding his rationale for doing what he is doing".
Yes I am painfully aware that rewinding ten seconds of a video tape over and over again: is not normal.
I'm aware that only having a 3 item diet: is not normal
I'm aware that having a dislike for certain common words: is not normal.
I'm aware that pulling your shorts down at the McD's drive thru
because your butt is sweaty: is not normal.
I am painfully, agonizingly, cant sleep at night, gray hair and wrinkles, 30 lbs lighter - aware.
Or - is it just a word? Should I take no offense to it? But then I think would someone say, "well SGT Baker, we know that you cannot ride the city bus because your lost your lower limbs in battle and you're not NORMAL?
Or would the sports broadcasters say: We are so proud of the American wheelchairs athletes and what they've accomplished here today even though they're not NORMAL? HELL NO they would not. So we do we only use that term for folks with developmental disabilities?
Since I've left the Dr's office the wound from the knife I felt stab me in the stomach has healed a bit. Do I owe it to the other autie moms to point this out nicely to my Dr? Perhaps I will.