The other day I was introduced by a friend to a group of individuals. During the introduction she said “her oldest suffers from autism”.
I joked and said I think we suffer more than him but it got me thinking, and realizing I really dislike this term for Deeds.
It is true, I believe he suffered when he wasn’t verbal and couldn’t talk to us. However he was still a happy boy. I know he suffered when he was burnt but that has nothing to do with his autism.
I believe the parents suffer more, and most of the time when I am suffering it is because I let judgments get under my skin. With the autism and the mild cerebral palsy there is no real outward indicator of his conditions. It’s a double-edged sword, but it’s our reality and he really doesn’t seem to be suffering.
That being said I looked up the definition of suffer:
- 1. To feel pain or distress; sustain loss, injury, harm, or punishment.
- 2. To tolerate or endure evil, injury, affected by or subject to (an illness or ailment), pain, or death.
- 3. To appear at a disadvantage: “He suffers by comparison with his greater contemporary” (Albert C. Baugh).