Dear Parent(s) of a Disabled Child,
I am Jason Ross, an Autistic adult. I am writing this letter to let you know that your disabled child is who you brought into this world. While you didn’t choose the kind of person he or she would be, it is important to remember not to cry for the child you did not anticipate having. Your disabled child is part of the amazing diversity of the human race. When there is a newborn baby, you must love the child with unconditional love, no matter what, even if the child is not who you thought the child would be.
I hope you understand your disabled child will grow up to be an adult one day, thriving in their own way. It does not mean their success story will be the way you envisioned. It just means he or she will be a disabled child who becomes a disabled adult. It also means, as parents, acceptance is the key to doing the best job you can.
This does not mean you are in control of your disabled child; it just means you are their parent and will support and advise them throughout your lifespan. Family is complicated. Not every family member will be accepting, but it’s your job to create a love and acceptance mantra for your disabled child. No one expects you to be perfect, because none of us are perfect. The child who will never be as you once imagined is really a glorious, loving, happy child, just as any child you have met.
Realizing this, it is important for your disabled child to live a life that they want, not a life that you want as their parents. As their parents, you may feel the need to protect your disabled child, but parenting is not so much about protection as it is about teaching your child to make choices they want just as your nondisabled child. I know you may feel like telling your disabled child what you may think is good for them, but letting your disabled child make their own decisions is the key to helping them become independent human beings in this already challenging yet achievable world.
A Responsible Disabled Adult