Your Yo-Yo Ma concert experience made me smile in recognition. …

Comment on Opting Out of Autism: The Way is Shut by B.

Your Yo-Yo Ma concert experience made me smile in recognition. Our daughter has struggled with some aspects of the “spectrum”–intense social anxiety, hypersensitivity to stimuli, tantrums and rage, difficulty reading social cues. She’s now in college and in a wonderful relationship, and has worked bravely and hard to function well in a “neurotypical” (I like that term) world. But some things will never be easy, or the same. When she was little, she was the kid who was horrified to have her face painted, who did NOT want to “meet the cast” after the show, sit on stage, or help the magician with his trick. And just recently, we got tickets to see tap-dance legend Savion Glover. The show turned out to be a dimly-lit, VERY intense “experimental” evening of constant percussion and tapping, and we had to leave less than halfway through; it triggered full-blown panic in her. I now know that “it is what it is,” and we all laughed about it in a (quiet, empty) coffee shop nearby. But if I had a dollar for every person who told me what I should “just” do for her tantrums and refusals in childhood, when it seemed she had ODD or some damn thing no one could name…well, it would pay for college. I was a hardass on her not hurting the feelings of others–probably was pretty brutal in demanding some apologies for things she couldn’t help–but otherwise, I chose my battles, and still do. You sound like an awesome mom. Follow your heart.


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