Content: This post is about ableism and the risks of violence that autistic people face.
My mom has reported me and my partner to child protection (social services). Her report is full of lies and for now, they won’t do any investigation of us. But I’m not relieved.
There are so many things behind my mom’s actions right now (she’s not well herself), but still, this is the kind of attack I feel like I will never get over. Since this happened a couple of weeks ago, I’ve changed regarding how I act and think as a parent. Instead of acting as if we had lots a time ahead with our kid, I’m thinking that this is borrowed time that can suddenly end at any point. I find myself pondering how I can teach my kid the best kind of strategies to communicate their support needs as if it’s a hurry for them to learn this. Before my mom’s reporting of us I thought that we had plenty of time and this was something that we would work on in a slow pace, but now I think that my kid can be taken away from me without any warning and be placed with people who don’t understand them.
I can’t focus on many other things, so a lot of the stuff I used to care about is being neglected. All I can think about is how I can help my kid to cope as good as possible if they suddenly are picked up by the police and placed with other people. This probably sounds overly dramatic but as a disabled and very ill parent to a disabled kid with a relative who’s actively trying to take my kid away from me, the threat is real.
I wish people could understand how damaging ableism is. That all the negative things you say about disabled people affect how child protection views and judges us. As a disabled and chronically ill parent to an autistic kid who can mask sometimes, people think that I create my kid’s disability with my own “false illness beliefs” (that’s how people think of my diseases).
Where I live, children who are taken away from their parents are very often put in institutions (unless they are very young, like toddlers). These institutions are highly criticized for using violence against children and not understanding their support needs. This means that my kid is in real danger because of my mom and ableism. If people like my mom (who works with autistic children) can think that we’re making up my kid’s autism, guess what a lot of other people also will think? Exactly the same. Framing autistic people as people with a behavioral disorder that can be cured with behavioral therapy has consequences beyond what most people can grasp.
I’m scared. Really, really scared.