"I wanna fit in to the perfect space
Feel natural and safe in a volatile place"
Last week, I read about people who keep their child's autism diagnosis a secret, or choose not to tell people. It really got me thinking....
I do know some families who choose not to disclose their kids' diagnoses. Obviously, we are not one of those families. We tell. Autism is a tricky thing. Our kids typically look normal. If I'm in the grocery store and walking hand in hand with Little Bird, you'd really have no clue.... until she starts flapping her arms (assuming her fingers are not in her ears). Once she starts talking, anyone could see she's different. It's hard to understand what she's saying; so much of her speech is scripted. So, it's not like we can really hide it. Still, we'd never keep it secret. We are open and honest about everything we experience. Not just for me, but for you, too.
I truly believe that the most powerful words ever spoken are: me too. More than a year ago, a friend called me a talker meaning that I tell people what's really going on. That's really stuck with me for some reason. I draw strength from other peoples' experience.
A couple years ago, someone very close to me, S, had a hard time conceiving. S, like me, is pretty open, but it's not my story to tell, so I'm just calling her S, ok? She told a few of her friends. Some of them confided to her that they, too, couldn't conceive naturally and had sought the help of a fertility specialist. Until then, S had no clue these friends had dealt with this. Why?? Because both of these girls had lied and said they didn't use fertility treatments to conceive. For what? Shame? Embarrassment? Who knows. But I've found that when I remove shame from any situation, I'm way more ok to tell my truth. Through these girls, S found a great doctor and great support. There is so much support in the words me too.
That's what it's all about, really. Support. I need other people in similar situations. How ever would I find them if I didn't tell my truth? Some days I'm scared, sad, even disappointed. But never ashamed. Little Bird is the sweetest, prettiest, and funniest kid in town. Nothing to be ashamed of here! I know that I find more understanding and compassion from others when I tell the truth. I've spoken before about finding my "sisters": those who share a similar experience and are always there for me, sharing their own experience, strength, and hope. I never have to do anything alone, as long as I tell my truth.
Do you keep your child's dx a secret? Why? Why not?