Advice is often the one free gift bestowed upon us which sometimes we truly don’t wish to receive. Often these usually well intended words can enrich our lives. However occasionally they can feel like a brutal attack.
Recently whilst attempting to enrol my first born son into kindergarten at the public school closest to home we were faced with a bit of a challenge. The school counsellor decided that he could not attend their school as she felt the child has autism and they do not have the facilities to accommodate him there.
Whether the child has autism or not isn’t really the problem. Immaterial, he is loved and his educational needs will be met somewhere which has the ability to do so.
She then diagnosed my second son with autism. Almost as though it were a two for one special. There was a great deal to take in and I was more than relieved when I was given the opportunity to escape her office.
Not long after I arrived home my mobile rang. It was the school councillor. “You have beautiful children” she said. I thanked her and suddenly felt uncomfortable with the phone call. As though I could feel it wasn’t headed in a positive direction.
“All four of your children are beautiful” she went on to say. I thanked her again all the while knowing that whatever the point of her call was had to be extremely bad if she felt the desire to compliment me this much.
“Don’t have anymore children” she said. I was silent. “You aren’t planning to have any more children are you?” She asked. I didn’t know what to say.
She went on to advise me that four children was more than enough. And of course two out of the four are definitely autistic. The call became increasingly awkward and ended there.
I wish I had asked her to elaborate on her advice. I mean she is a primary school councillor after all. And I would have loved to know why in her professional opinion she gave me the advice that she did.
Did she feel it were in the best interest of my children that they didn’t have any future siblings? Did she fear that my husband and I may produce another autistic child? Or did she interpret that I am in some way a bad mother?
The reality of the situation is that as difficult as it may be to keep ones opinion to themselves, sometimes it may just be for the best.
An individual’s right and ability to reproduce is not something which can be controlled by anyone other than the person who owns the reproductive organs. And simply advising someone not to reproduce is not really adequate contraception. Even if it were, what right does anyone have over another person’s body.
I wish she had kept her advice to herself. At this stage in my life I didn’t need to hear it. But I can’t let her get to me because I haven’t even passed my first trimester yet. I hate to think of what her advice would have been had she known of my pregnancy.
Posted by someonesmother, 1st December 2014