Most of the time I tell stories about my son Dar. I did raise eight children but I mostly discuss Dar. Six of the children I raised were adopted and one of those was Dar. Four of the six were diagnosed with autism, fetal alcohol syndrome and many resulting other disorders. The lowest functioning was Dar. All the adopted children were abused. The four ASD boys were also malnourished and severely neglected. The worst neglect happened to Dar. (He was locked in a closet for years)
I worked very hard to help my kids learn. To heal myself and my family I had to address many demons and grapple with science, education, therapy techniques and money (not to mention men). Two of the four improved enough to move off the spectrum, one still hovers in the weird zone of not quite diagnosable but … well … definitely still something. All three of them are independent and have been for a decade.
But Dar is not.
Someone asked why I force him into all my videos (an exaggeration by the way) and expose him to the public at every turn. Here is my reason why:
I was standing at a movie theater noticing all the frightened faces of the people in line as they shifted away from my slow functioning, minimally verbal, occasionally smelly, man son and I thought “This sure would be different if he was the star of the movie.” I giggled to myself to think that “then they would want his autograph.” And got an idea.
The idea was brilliant for a few reasons.
1- He wants to be independent and an actor
2- I want to change his environment and make a world of acceptance. If not for all then at least for him.
3- The media generally only shows higher functioning savant-like ASD people. Thus these beautiful people are invisible to the general population and remain scary. But, the thing is, once you know my son and others like him there is nothing to be afraid. My son is a wonderful person.
So I put him in my videos, to expose him, to you, so you can love him too. I tell you about him for the same reasons.
The camera loves Dar. It just might work. True I also make these videos to help you, so that you can hear me, but in fact
Dar, is my reason why.