There’s Nothing Wrong With Her… by Mimi Machado-Luces
#MimiTVA #LaVidaEnBlack #BlueDivaDesi
My mother droned this into our heads when we confirmed my daughter’s autism. “That child is brilliant you know, Mimi,” she repeated in her sing song-y West Indian accent, “you ent’ have to worry about she,
Desi goin’ an’ change dee world you know. God give ya’ dat child for a reason.” And she was right as mothers always are, magically so.
It was a process. Excited and relieved, I felt Autism was something that she could live with, that we could handle, some studies even said we could “cure” it. But that whole “cure” talk sounded like there was something wrong with my little ray of Sunshine, Mi Solita (little sun in Spanish.) My clone (everybody says she looks just like me) would babble, laugh and communicate in that special baby way until she was practically a toddler. Then she just stopped – babbling. She began exhibiting a series of behaviors – flapped her hands, rolled her eyes until you saw nothing but the whites. And the noises that came from her throat, were often scary & high pitched… “eeeeeee”
And all the while, I knew she was smart. She liked Big Bird and her dad playing the guitar. She would mimic him on the guitar at times – she sounded just like him plucking away. But she did not speak. Not a word and I thought, is there something wrong?
I can’t stand those stories that start out with “I knew that something was wrong with (insert childs name here) like if being “normal” was the right thing. Autism is not something wrong. It is something different. I learn something new from my daughter every day, that can’t be something “wrong”. She is here to right a wrong.
She is here for a reason, Mummy claimed that and I believe it’s the truth. I can rattle off and identify many famous people with what is commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder to make you more aware but it’s not worth it. You’re probably already aware, if you’re taking the time to read this, remember and mark my words – Autism is not a disease.
My definition of autism – It is a different reaction to the manner in which certain individuals interact with the world in which they reside, considering human interaction, reaction to environment, food and other sensory stimuli. To me people with Autism represent evolution. They are the product of our “modern” society. They are a proof that the times in which we live are tumultuous and inventive, cruel and kind; all in the same space and time. Consider these facts. Information that used to take months, years, even decades to disseminate; can now be broadcast on the WORLD WIDE WEB in a nanosecond from our phones. We are what we eat people and that includes sensory stimuli. No wonder the stats of children born with autism have gone from 1 in 700 in 1995 to 1 in 70 in 2015. Consider all of those different people with Autism in one generation of time.
I wanted to have her naturally. But Desi was breech so I had to have a C-section and from birth Desi has done things in her own unique – different way. Not to be turned, she arrived one beautiful spring morning to her father’s and my delight. Named for her Great grand and grandmother, she is a person blessed with a wise old name. She has big bright eyes and always seems to look at you as if she knows things you will never know. That is the truth. Her perceptions, her insights are ALWAYS different from mine. She is intuitive to a fault. She knows what people think of her instantly and reacts accordingly.
Desi is an artist as well. Her paintings and drawings depict happy and joyful things she sees in her “Blue Diva Desi ” mind – her friends and family laying on clouds, swinging from rainbows and sliding into an enormous pot of gold at the end of that rainbow… Check out an interview with Desi about her Valentine’s Day Card…
I asked her what she wanted people to be more aware of, about people with autism. She repeated a line one of her teachers told her, or so I thought, she said, “I want people to be aware that Autism is invisible.’
And I thought she’s repeating what Ms. Diedre told her. And then she hit me with, “it affects the way my brain works, but I can see it.” Profound, evolution, this young woman is on another level mentally. And anyone’s thoughts or musings within the autism community and beyond that think they have this figured out, Do Not!