The Parent’s Effect Paradox

“You’re lucky; you have an easy child.”

I’ve got to admit: I did not see that one coming. I mean, sure, sometimes I second-guess the level part of her ASD level 3 diagnosis. And she does things that make me think she’s not as globally developmentally delayed as she tests. But communication is rare past requests for more juice, specific foods, or more of her tv shows. She’s 4 and a half years old and we’re no where near potty training. We’ve only this past year found ways to get all vital nutrients into her. Easy? Surely not compared to the boys at that age. Or a neurotypical/non-autistic (NT) child her age. I’m so used to people assuming life is hard with three autistic kids that it never occurred to me that I would be told that my neurodiversity positive methods wouldn’t translate to other autistic kids because I have an easy child. I finally figured out that “easy” meant “doesn’t meltdown a lot.”

If Lady Bug was having a difficult time and melting down a lot, it would totally be considered to be my fault. I would be clearly doing something wrong if that was happening on a regular basis, right? That’s what most people think when they see a “tantruming” child in public. But things are going well and I’m just lucky that I have an easy child. Um, what? Don’t I deserve some of the credit for that? Why is what I’m doing and the attitudes that I’m promoting not responsible at all for the rarity of her frustrations and meltdowns, when surely I would be at fault if she was melting down frequently? I get that this isn’t just me; this happens to parents of NT kids, too. If they misbehave frequently in public, the parents are failing. But have a child who is constantly good, and you “got lucky.” Not cool, society. Give credit where credit it due, or stop judging parents who’s kids are having a hard time. Or both. Both is good.



2 thoughts on “The Parent’s Effect Paradox

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  1. Yes, indeed. I have had that said to me too. Rearranging our whole lives so that my kids have the most supportive environment, and aren’t put in situations that will hurt them somehow makes them ‘easy’. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

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