5 Years Have Passed

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For some reason, this year, I’ve reflected on the TPGA dialogues of 2011. And next month, we will mark the 5 year anniversary since they took place. You know what’s weird about that? My boys are now in the same middle school of the originating blogger’s daughter. Yeah. And we probably still live in the same neighborhood.

5 years ago, I took my kids out of Miracle League because I was afraid of meeting the man that started the whole thing. He thought I was being a stalker-like person for looking up where he lived. Then getting upset when I told him we lived in the same neighborhood. He was easily a person I could have bumped into the grocery store since we lived off the same main street within a city block. I could still probably bump into him, if he still lives in this neighborhood. Who knows…

But what I find funny, 5 years ago his daughter and my sons participated in the same Miracle League. 5 years ago, his daughter was in middle school. 5 years ago, he had his daughter in segregated sports. And this year? Well, this year, Daniel is going to do football. Not segregated football. Middle school football. We attended the meeting last night. We’re getting his cleats this weekend. This is happening.

But you know what I’ve really been thinking about? These parents that 5 years ago, this parent in particular, that was so quick to label online autistics as not being able to understand his plight because we could type online.. Well… his daughter is now nearly as old as Zoe was at the time of her writing. Is he still saying these things? Or has she grown up? Has he changed his views now that he’s seen the growth in his child?

And you know what else I’ve learned? I’m still either an autistic or a parent. I still don’t get to be in both spaces at the same time. I’ve asked for a reasonable accommodation from the school and been denied. I guess because I’m the parent and not the autistic. I spoke last weekend on a panel of autistics at a local conference. Whenever I brought up alternate parenting/education tools, I was contradicted by the parent moderator. I got to be an autistic person there, not a parent. I hope in another 10 years, maybe then autistic people can be both parents and autistics and not have to put their parent hat on and autistic hat on. Because let’s face it, the same is true now that was then, I can’t separate myself into a parent or an autistic.. I’m both and both influence me still.

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