The real question behind all of the brouhaha over “different” children.
Nature has been developing life on earth for 3.8 billion years.
Are you going to yell at nature to hurry up?
Today I’ve been reviewing Advice to Asperger Parents books, blogs and articles and it’s become obvious that no one knows what to do about Asperger children, but it also seems that this failure is a subset of, What to do about children?
The impression one gets is that many parents feel as if they have been handed a snake, a hairy spider, a baby elephant – and want someone to take it away and bring back the perfect child of their imagination. Children are talked about as if they are objects and not living beings. The goal is to turn the child into an obedient servant; immediately, right now, follow the rules, shut up, and get out of the way. “Just don’t bother me!” Experts are no better: it’s as if they’re looking at bacteria. Remote, unfeeling, critical, impatient.
“If that child doesn’t shape up and develop on schedule, we’re going to…” What? Label it defective, train it like a lab rat, medicate it?
I’m reacting to “parenting advice”, especially in the U.S., which is heavily mechanistic “black box” oriented – full of strategies and methods aimed at controlling behavior “outcomes”. Consisting of bribes and “social punishments”, it permeates American social policy, schools, jails, workplaces. The inner lives of children? Their humanity is not acknowledged. It’s a hostile and aggressive attitude toward the category Human behavior: The Problem.
Love is pitched as a shallow-gooey, sugary emotion, fed literally to children as junk food and insincere “I LUV YOO” hearts and balloons, and not as a thoughtful code of behavior toward other living things. Asperger children are told that they are bereft of “feelings and love” because we don’t express the mandated social gestures. Our experience of love is that of deep awareness of individual human worth (equality and justice) – and these feelings are ridiculed.
Yeah – We LUV YOO, too.