I coordinate the Autism Spectrum Support Group of Southern Maryland. I'm listed as first contact, and I try my best to help people new to the diagnosis or new to the area (or both). We've been almost 12 years in the school system. I've lived and learned quite a bit as the parent of a twice-exceptional child (academically gifted with Asperger's). When out and about, I've developed quite the thick skin regarding people's responses to my child, and I'm pretty open with what his issues are.
Then there's my daughter. Though we've been living with her gradually escalating issues for the past nine of her 12 years of life, I don't belong to a support group for her much less coordinate one. I don't fully understand what her issues are except that she is another twice-exceptional child (academically gifted with other special needs). I don't tend to "go public" with her; only a few friends and family members know the full details.
I write about some of her issues here, but I rarely tell it all.
I want to understand my daughter's issues as I understand Asperger's. I want to be confident in the decisions I make for my daughter as I am for my son. I want the interventions for her to work as my son's interventions work for him. And I find that I want that same thick skin for her that I've grown for her brother.
This past week's bruises resulting from her pinching me have made me realize that I'm very tender about people's responses to her issues. I just don't want to have to explain what happened. I don't want to hear judgments about my parenting or her problems. I don't want to say it out loud; I don't want to feel the hopelessness, embarrassment, and shame that accompany the return of behaviors I had so wanted to be extinguished.