When I clicked on Amy Schumer’s response to a fan’s question regarding what she would do if her son had the autism gene I was prepared to go on the defence. I thought for sure the reason her response was making the rounds on social media was for the same reason many things make it in the news lately—for attacking a group of people.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As the parent to a child on the autism spectrum who is now an adult I was already preparing my response. I was thinking through what the “autism gene” has meant for our family. It has meant missed milestones and delayed speech and a lot of stress, A LOT of stress. But it has also meant seeing the world through my daughter’s completely unbiased eyes. It has meant cheering for victories that some would think incredibly small and not taking a moment of my other children’s typical development for granted.
Autism has also gifted us with a perspective on life we would not have otherwise had. My daughter experiences emotions in their truest form. When she is happy it flows from her head to her toes, when she’s mad the same thing happens and sometimes we take cover. There is something refreshingly human about loving someone with autism. My daughter has made everyone in our family better people and I bet if you asked the many others who love her they would say the same.
Now back to Ms. Schumer’s response: To my initial surprise she responded with complete positivity to the chance that her son could have an autism gene. Though as I thought about it, she is a woman who loves a man on the autism spectrum. Now that my daughter is an adult, asking her if she’d rather not have autism would be like asking her if she wants to be someone else. Asking Amy Schumer if she would want to change the course of her son’s development is like asking her if she would like to change the parts of her child that he inherited from his father. Schumer loves her husband for who he is and part of who he is his Autism Spectrum Disorder.
As we work to help my daughter gain independence in adulthood one of my greatest wishes is that she encounters people who love her as I do. If they want to cook, clean and drive her places I would be 100% okay as well. In all seriousness though I hope she finds people who love her, autism and all, and aren’t trying to change her in any way, shape or form. She deserves to be surrounded by people who aren’t trying to change what makes her who she is.
So Ms. Schumer my response to your comment is this: Thank you for showing the world what truly loving someone on the autism spectrum looks like. May all of our kids grow up to find their own Amy Schumer.