Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Coping with Grown Men & Autism

I know I've talked about this before, but I have to delve into the way that I view men dealing with the Autism Spectrum and children in general. It was all tipped off last week when I read the Jenny McCarthy article about her son that has autism. It was a rather insightful article. As it wound to an end, Jenny said towards the end that 'there needs to be a special place in heaven for mother's with autistic kids.' Again, it was with this comment that I feel marginalized by the male race around me. I have consistently made a strong committment not only to therapy, treatment, but to raising my son by spending plenty of quality time with him. I have done this since day one and will continue to do this until the end of my life. But, it's usually viewed as the woman's burden in particular to take care of a child with a disability. Case in point, when I drop Miles off at the ABC Clinic or the times I have spent hours with him during therapy, I never see men. It's always a collection of women that come through the doors to drop off or pick up their kids. And this article about Jenny talked about how the father of her son couldn't hack it and was asked to move out. Furthermore, it went on about how he couldn't get over the fact that she was preoccupied with sex. It's this kind of stuff that is going to consistently view men as father figures in a very weak light. Until there is a more unified waking up of men across all fronts of the parenting horizon, it's going to be viewed as a woman's job to parent. That's rubbish and it chaps my hide that men put so little into the entirety of raising children, especially those with disabilities. Having a child in the autism spectrum should never be something shouldered by one parent .. that's just not cool or right. It's a shared responsibility that requires love to tackle the ills of a mental disorder that takes brain power to heal. More than anything else, I'm delighted that I'm such a huge part of my son's life and see myself as a 'parent' versus being a 'male'. I don't like what the majority of men do these days. The stereotype of a man as a sports addled beer drinker reverted back to Leave it to Beaver days is exactly what happens all too often. At any rate, that's my thought on the matter and Jenny might want to consider that there's a place for everyone that has to heal a child with autism.

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