How Much Rejection Can Autistic Families Handle?

Well, it turns out that we can handle a crap-ton of rejection. How do we know this? Because we have to.

Your eyes might be bulging out right now.

What’s that you say, Mica? What rejection do you have to deal with?

I’m glad you asked…negative-42774_1280

  1. Rejection from our families, friends, and society.This is typically the hardest because seriously, some of us created these children and we’re dumbfounded by how they came out. Parents, grandparents, in-laws, extended families, etc. can look at these children as projects to be fixed or broken kids they have to take on.
    That’s because from where they’re standing, it is as clear as day that the parents have completely screwed these kids up. The parents created these issues, maybe even by the way I spoke to him! Again and again, we turn on ourselves because society somehow deems that appropriate. Have you even heard of Refrigerator Mothers? It was a real thing. A real, ugly thing.
  2. Rejection from schools.
    This is the reason you’re reading about rejection right now. My own son has been in seven different schools and he’s in eighth grade. The school I was sure we’d get into for next year? That’s not a sure thing anymore. As it happens so often throughout this journey, Michael’s two-day visit wasn’t as wonderful as I had originally thought (or was led to believe). He can come back for another visit if they change facilities, but this school that takes quirky kids isn’t ready to take my quirky kid. I wish I was kidding. I’m not kidding.
  3. Chemical rejection.
    Schools might be the most prevalent form of rejection, but medications are the most difficult (for me at least–you can read more about how that all started here if you’d like: (No Meds Land Part 1) (part 2).
    A moment of silence for all the families who have to try new medications, change dosages, and work through whatever comes your way through it all . . . You literally cannot imagine the extent of this process. We are now able to get genetic testing, which is way better than the crapshoot we’ve had to deal with until now. Only a handful of doctors offer it so far, but we were able to get it. It worked and it worked well.
  4. Rejection from playdates, social functions, and social settings.
    We’re the one’s who require other parents to send out party invitations outside of the classroom. That’s because we’re the one child that is not invited to the party. Yep, there is the one kid who nobody wants to invite and all the other parents are on board with it. That’s us. We get it. *Waves wildly at you*
    Do you enjoy going to cultural events? Watch out because you might just get “booed” out of the theater.
  5. Rejection from funding that is supposedly meant to help us.
    I actually had a representative tell me, “We only accept about 20 percent of the applications that come through. Of that 20 percent, about 5 percent of the total applicants are awarded money.” Needless to say, I didn’t even start the process because there were about sixteen different long documents/testings/interviews that were required for the almost-nil chance that we’d be awarded funding for therapy. I don’t apply to anything anymore because I can only cope with so much paperwork that’s going to end up in the trash.

There are more areas of rejection, but need I go on? No. I need not.

Is There Another Side?

Yes! I’m so happy to report that we are embraced and loved as well! There are lots of places where we are unabashedly, joyfully, and fully accepted for who we are and how we show up.

  1. Family and friends DO embrace us!
    We are embraced with open hearts and open homes that make my heart sing and smile with joy. In these homes and with these people, our children are revered. They are listened to. They are helped. They are given their comfort items with love and care.
    And they love us mamas and papas. They are kind and loving and they say things like, “It must be really hard to do what you do all day.” It is hard. Thank you.
  2. Schools DO embrace our children!
    They may cost a ridiculous amount of money, but they’re there. They have squishy chairs and time-out rooms and staff that understand how to help kids calm down from tantrums. These schools are geared specifically for helping kids on the spectrum and I love them and I’m grateful for them.
  3. Meds change lives! For the better even.
    With the right dosage of medication, our lives can be forever changed . . .  for the better, of course! It’s true. I’m experiencing that right now in fact. My son is taking two different medications and is doing so incredibly well. Happy Dance!
  4. Kids on the spectrum can stick together!
    We DO have excellent playdates. We have to pay for them sometimes, but sometimes we don’t. We have to be there most of the time, until we don’t. We have to guide them into words and activities at the beginning, until they’re set. We have to end them abruptly sometimes, and that is perfectly okay because we totally get each other and we all know this might happen! We’re all good when we’re with those who understand.
  5. We ARE financially assisted sometimes.
    Some therapists use a sliding scale to help with appropriate distribution for who can afford what. I’m fortunate beyond measure that my former spouse is amazingly generous in providing for our children. For others, though, there are clinics who do great work for a fraction of what it costs.

Do you see how balanced our lives are? I really wish we were accepted in more places, but the deal is that we live with rejection way more than people might be aware of. We live with typical-looking kids who are anything but. We live our lives knowing that each day is unique. When we get up in the morning, we can count on the fact that our day might be quiet and uneventful, or we might end up calling the Psyche Hotline. It’s just how we roll.

We mostly live our lives to create success, joy, respect, love, care, compassion, and all those wonderful things for our children and our families. It’s hard work and we are often working against the current, but there are many moments throughout most days that are easy, kind, and meaningful. Because life is beautiful. 😉

I send this with so much love for every one of us,


Did you see my book reviews? There will be more added soon, but you can see the first two here.

And I’d love to meet you on Facebook. Leave a comment, question or suggestion and I’ll be happy to listen.

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