Positive Autistic identity is at the heart of our Autistic children’s ability to achieve and sustain emotional well being.

Autism is not an add on or something a person has. This means we cannot separate autism from our child and love them, but not “it”. My son is Autistic and I love that he is Autistic; it is part of his identity.

Parenting a child who struggles with extreme anxiety is particularly tough at times. And at these times; we as Parents can feel hurt too. But never like our children do; our struggle is never as great as theirs. None of us always get this right, I know I don’t. I am not always as patient as I aim to be and I dont always say or do things in the way I would like to. However, I absolutely believe that loving all that my boy is, is fundamental to his well being. I believe that he will, with our support, find ways of managing his anxiety for himself one day. Until then, we hold space for him that is safe, kind, gentle, empowering and proud.

That safe space needs to include the words we use in relation to being Autistic too, even when we think he can’t hear us. Our feelings as Parents are important too and I believe in the importance of self care and self compassion very much. But our job as parents is always to lift our children up and if they are Autistic, that includes celebrating their Autistic identity.

For me, my son’s Autsitic identity is as intrinsic as my female identity.

I wonder how I, or you, would feel if my, or your, Mother said:

I love my daughter, but I hate that she’s a girl.

What would this do to our self worth?

If you can imagine that for a moment and then consider the phrase

I love my child, but I hate Autism.

The two phrases have the same meaning and the same effect.

And this is devastating!

On Autsitic Pride Day I celebrate my boy and promise him that I will never forget the power my words carry and I will always love every part of his Autistic identity.

I will always do this and one day he too will communicate his own Autistic pride.

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