Sunday, 20 November 2011

An Autism Mom's Milestone: My First MASE Meeting

After months of contemplating and wishing I could go, I finally did it.  I went to a MASE meeting.  MASE (Moms of autism supporting eachother) is a small group of women who I thought had one thing in common:  autism.

I almost bailed out as I am sick AGAIN...  yes I know, Lou, get a flu shot already.  But then Super Dad made me feel bad about not coming, and another autism mom told me I should still come, so I pulled on my big girl panties and headed out the door.

Turns out the table of fourteen people (two men were allowed to "infiltrate" the group this one time only; Super Dad and another Super Dad), had much more in common than autism.  We also seemed to share the same side effects of autism I thought I was alone in...  Wow...

I thought I was the only "autism" mom who endured my child's school staff calling CFS, the only autism mom who's child's principal called the police due to her child's choice of words or behaviour and the only autism mom who has been judged on her 'parenting skills' by school staff...  Let me rephrase that:  I felt judged by the school staff.  Calling CFS to me seems like a judgement call...

I thought I was the only autism mom who sees the grocery store Nazis shaking their heads in disapproval when they see my boy sitting in the shopping cart, my boy who is almost ten and to tall to be sitting in a cart and still leave me room for groceries.  I thought I was the only sniper!

I thought I was the only bad, bad autism mom who's been kicked out of McDonalds, the only bad, bad, very bad autism mom who's child got kicked out of daycare!

I'm not alone.  Some moms told me stories much worse than mine, and they looked "normal."  I didn't see the third eye I have growing out of my own forehead.  You know the one people see growing out of yours when you try to explain your child's behavior?  Yeah, that one!

These women looked real.  They looked like anyone else.  They didn't have a sign on their forehead with a bulls eye showing "autism mom."  Very bad, bad, bad, bad, bad mom...

It was like walking into an AA meeting and seeing if you could pick out the alcoholic.  No one looked the part.  Oh my goodness...

Four out of the fourteen are Educational Assistants.  Wow.  I want to be just like them!

I found people just like me.  Women that have had their hearts ripped apart by judgement calls made by people who just don't understand...  People that should understand but don't.  Who's fault is it?  The question seemed to resonate through the table when the group was splitting up to go home.  Three of us remained talking...  Is it the teachers fault?  The principals?  The resource teachers?  The guidance counsellors?  Ahhhh...  no, no...   More on my thoughts on this on my next post, I promise.  The point of this post is:  WE'RE NOT ALONE!

Consider yourselves hugged,


1 comment:

  1. Giving you a hug Back Lou. It was really awesome to finally put some faces to the names on face book. I so can't wait for the next meeting.