The Rise of the Individual

“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.” 
― Aldous HuxleyBrave New World

How fortunate we are. Look around you. Society is conditioned, controlled, distracted. Priorities are confused, You can’t even say you don’t watch a certain TV show without people thinking you’re strange.

But we do not fit into the “mold.” Through necessity, we have had to make our own normal. They try to force our kids into being “appropriate” enough to live in society. They condition them like puppies when they’re young, trying to break their spirit and get them to respond appropriately to cues and situations in ways that are unnatural to them. They make us believe that our priority should be to help change this child into someone acceptable to the rest of the “normal” world. Fifty years ago they would have simply told us to put our children in an institution, where they could either be trained or hidden, and we would have, and we would have thought we were doing the right thing for all involved, in the name of being acceptable and normal.

But now look what we have! I see so many people on here, so many affected children speaking for themselves, and so many parents who embrace the individualism that comes with having a child that does not care what society thinks about him or her. Our priorities, unlike the novel, are about what our children need, not what society wants of them. They are counting how long a seizure lasts, keeping them safe 24 hours a day, learning their individual languages, adapting to new sleep patterns for life, learning the best ways to teach your child to become the best they can be inside their own personality, actually paying attention to our children (unlike many “typical” parents!), and maybe finding time to be alone in the bathroom long enough to take a shower.

As for passion? Ask any parent who has held their child while they were having seizures and put hours upon hours into researching epilepsy and medication how passionate they are about raising their child. Ask any parent who has researched fifty methods of teaching Autistic children everything from eating to talking to potty training how passionate they are about giving their child the best future they can have. Ask any parent who has ever had to advocate for a child without a voice how passionate they are about everything.

Our passion and fight for individuality may have been born out of necessity, but we are the lucky ones. Believe me, I know the times when all seems lost and I know grieving and depression, anger and loneliness, and all the feeling that come and go with the rollercoaster life of crises and calm. But I know that it makes us and our children, even our typical children, stronger than most, more accomplished than most, freer to be individuals than most, and less stressed about what the rest of the world thinks about us, and for that I am thankful. 

 

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