Sandy, a regular commenter on this blog and the mother of a child with autism, has this to say on the subject of acceptance:
Acceptance really is already being aware and offering their children things to help them. It simply is not as simple as acceptance alone. It's much more than that and as a parent, we must all strive for more than that or our kids would never make it in school, in the community or home. If we all just accepted our children without offering anything else, we'd be doing our kids no good.Certainly, all good parents provide their children with the tools they need to grow, develop, learn, and succeed. Some push their children toward specific character traits, beliefs, careers and lifestyles. Others are less directive. But no good parent would simply "accept" their newborn as they are - and provide no direction or support.
Children with autism need and deserve parental guidance. But autism does present more of a challenge. Parents can accept their child's preference for solitude - but fear that their child's lack of social skills will limit their options in the larger world. Parents may accept their child's passion for Pokemon, chess or trains - but still try hard to expand their child's horizons.
When is a parent's intervention positive and helpful - and when is it overwhelming? How can a parent provide a child with autism with skills, options and opportunities while also respecting that child's distinctive personality and characteristics?
Like any parent, we are walking a fine line. Unlike most parents, though, we are pushed hard - by family, peers, schools, agencies and the media - to do more, more, more for our children with autism.
So... how much is enough? How much is too much?