Swap — If You Can't Handle the Heat — Sin Bin

Monday 1 April 2013

April Blog Hop for Autism Awareness

Fact about Autism:

65% of people with autism surveyed in 2012 said they would like more friends.

This Year's Blog Subject:  Prejudice

My son was born with numerous health problems. At four months old, he had already survived two surgeries and by the time he turned five he had endured many more. But we were lucky; he now lives a fairly normal life. By looking at him, you would never know that there is a problem. He is a normal child. And there’s a word that I hate. Normal. Who’s to define what is normal. My child's limitations are ‘normal’ for him.

I have to say that I was probably overprotective of him. And his siblings were allowed to do things that he couldn’t. It broke my heart that I had to be the bad guy and always say no, but coming so close to losing him, time and time again, I was not about to jeopardize his health so that he could play football, like his brother. But standing on the sidelines, watching, was little comfort and he just didn’t understand.

We went through some very tough years with him. He resented us. He hated his life. He was the angriest little man. He couldn’t seem to see past the bad to appreciate how lucky he really was. The only thing he could see was that he was different.  

We come from a religious background. I attended church every Sunday when I was a child at our parent's insistence, and even though, I no longer ‘practice’ I still believe. My faith is strong, although while my child was fighting for his life, I struggled. And while some of the other mother’s were crying why me? I was praying why him? Why any of them? Why are some children only born to suffer?

And during my son’s time battling through his own limitations and trying to find his way in the world, when things were at the worst for him, he had a teacher at school who terrorized him. Berated him, embarrassed him, verbally abused him and left him out in a Canadian winter without a coat. Several visits to the school and phone calls to the principal, this ‘teacher’ still had a job. Why? Because it’s the child’s word against his. I am not excusing the things that my son did, he was angry at the world, and yes, I do believe he acted out. But he needed understanding, not cruelty. And because of our faith my son wore a crucifix on a chain around his neck. It made him feel better. The ‘educator’ and I use the term loosely, walked past my son one day, thumped him in the chest, right on top of the little silver cross and said, “That won’t save you.” 

These are the people who help shape our future. God help us all.

Please, don’t get me wrong. There are some wonderful teachers out there, and fortunately my child was lucky enough to have several in the years following that helped restore not only our faith in the system but more importantly his, and I have a number of family members who are in the time-honoured profession of education and I will not allow the behaviour of one bad apple to cloud my judgement of the whole.

But sometimes it would help us to remember that we just don’t know what is going on in another person’s life. And we don’t realize what long term affects might stay with a child, especially when we are in a position of power.  

I often wonder if the individual in question believes in anything? Obviously not God, but a higher power? Or even just Karma?

And being a Christian, I believe I am supposed to forgive this man, for his malice and prejudice. But on those awful days when my son came home crying or so angry that he hurt himself, I also remember the good book says an eye for an eye. And I am human. Just a mother trying to protect her child. So, God will have to forgive me if my thoughts are not always charitable.

Someday we will live in a world with... 

Acceptance. Charity. Compassion. Empathy. Fairness. Faith. Forgiveness. Grace. Gratitude. Generosity. Honesty. Justice. Kindness. Love. Mercy. Patience. Peace. Respect. Responsibility. Tolerance. Sincerity. Understanding.

Let it be true.

Wow, that was kind of a heavy post but now for some light-hearted fun; I will be giving away a copy of either Swap, Lost Time, You Found Me or Streetlight People to one lucky commenter. So, don’t forget to leave an e-mail address and tell me which book you’d most like to own, if you are chosen the winner. (Click on the thumbnails below to read the book blurbs)

I’d like to thank RJ Scott, Love Lane Books, Total-E-Bound and eXtasy Books for educating us with this Blog Hop for Autism Awareness.

Please Check Out the Other Awesome Participants Taking Part in the Autism Awareness Blog Hop. AND don't forget to hop on over to RJ Scott's and quickly fill out the form to enter the
Competition to win vouchers from Total E-Bound, eXtasy and Love Lane Books

Grand Prizes will be drawn May 1st, 2013.


  1. your child was lucky to get the help he needed. my father had aspbergers when he was alive and grew up in a time when such a thing was virtually unknown. he was labeled as dumb and stupid and it wasn't until *I* got diagnosed with learning disabilities and HE was told that kind of thing ran in the family that HE suspected that he wasn't stupid...so he got tested and was told he had aspbergers. yes he did greive for the YEARS lost but he did make an effort to education himself so he KNEW what he was dealing with and it did help him undertand he wasn't stupid...just unique


    1. I'm sorry that your father had to endure those lost years, but I think he sounds like a very smart man to have made the effort to educate himself and was able to gain some solace. Thank you for sharing your story and your father's, Laurie.

  2. I'm glad your son is normal, and doing well. Bullying comes from unexpected sources! My nephew with Aspbergers is popular with students, but his teachers give him hell. I was a socially awkward, shy, geeky kid. Teachers and other students treated me fine, but my own family harassed and belittled me endlessly. You never know where support or bullying will come from.
    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

    1. You're so right, Urb. Bullying comes from the unexpected, sometimes from people that we think should know better like teachers, or the people that we think should support us the most, like our family. I only hope that things are much better for you now, Urb and that your nephew will also be blessed with more caring educators in the future, as my son was.

  3. We need more compassion in the world. You Found Me sounds like a great read!

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  4. I'm with you Sheri. Amen to that.

    Thanks for stopping.

    H K

  5. Oh, I loved your post. May God hear you.
    Teachers like that one should be tortured to death and I'm not ashamed of saying this. There are some people who don't deserve the lives they've been given. I'm glad your son survived that period.


  6. Thank you so much, Shayla. I find it very difficult not to have those same thoughts concerning that 'teacher'. Although my son's beginning was a tumultuous one, it made him tough, he is a survivor. During those first five years, he was the one that made me strong. He is still my little rock when things go wrong. He won't allow people like that to hold him down for long.
    Thank you for stopping, Shayla.

    H K

  7. The Winner of their choice of one of my books, part of the month long Autism Awareness Blog Hop, is Shayla Mist.
    Thank you to everyone who stopped by to leave a comment.
    All the best,
    H K

  8. And the winner of vouchers from TEB, eXtasy books and Love Lane Books is...

    Su Holland


    Via RJ Scott http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.ca/?zx=b4df9d569c800e33