Friday, June 3, 2011

Thoughts on an Autism Walk

This Saturday (actually, that's tomorrow!) is the 2nd annual Greater Binghamton Walk for Autism, to be held in Endwell, NY.

There seems to be very little information about this locally.  I saw a poster but that's all the publicity this seems to have.  Saturday, register at 11 for $10, walk at noon.

Just show up at 11am tomorrow and register?  I'm really unsure if I want to participate in this.  I know nothing about the organization that seems to be sponsoring it.  In fact, I'm not even sure of exactly where the money is going.  And, I'm not sure I would really belong there.  I'm a sister in law, not a parent, and I have a feeling it is going to be mostly parents (or grandparents) of younger children that are going to show up.

And that's when I start feeling so different.  Feeling like I don't belong. Feeling like I am alone in this.

There are support groups for parents.  For siblings. But, as far as I know, nothing for in-laws.  And we do matter.

Bil predates the autism epidemic. Bil is in his 50's.  His world is so different from the world of autism today.  He has little in common with those young children, it seems, and I don't know if I would have anything in common with those parents.

It's a shame, that sometimes siblings and parents are at odds about the future of their children/siblings with autism.  Parents are coming from one place and the person with autism's siblings a totally different place.  Some of that is probably generation gap.  Maybe it's also like we are groping different parts of the elephant.

Maybe I shouldn't feel this way, but I do.  I can admire my mother in law but sometimes - many times it seems-we just aren't on the same page.  And I'm apart from the siblings, too.  Unlike them, I chose this.

So, I may-or may not-walk tomorrow.

If I walk, it will be with a lot of conflicted feelings.

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