Category Archives: Empathy
This was an assignment we were asked to do:
Begin crafting your own fictional narrative about parenting. You can compose this narrative in whatever form seems most fitting — an intro paragraph, a short scene, or dialogue. Then, in the remainder of your blog post, please reflect on this process (approx. 100-200 words). What about this was challenging? Easy? What ethical principles guided your representation? If you had more time or space to develop your character, what would you do or say? How did our class readings (especially Sinclair, Murphy, and Sicile-Kira) influence your character?
Switching Roles: Mother to Daughter
16 hours, 6 minutes and 6 seconds… that’s how long it took for my daughter Madison Savannah Lewis to arrive in this world. It took forever for her to come, but when she did I knew that she was going to be everything to me for the rest of my life. Madison was a bright child. She was always laughing and smiling. She didn’t cry a lot and I was thankful for that especially. My partner and I knew that this little life we brought into the world was going to be special and go many places.
When Madison turned two years old, we noticed she wasn’t doing a certain things babies her age were suppose to be doing. At first we thought we were just new to parenting and really you can’t predict when your child will do something. However, when Madison turned four we knew something was wrong. She hadn’t started walking a lot instead she would stay seated and wave her hands in the air for us to pick her up. And what I thought was her being just a quiet child, she was just not talking at all. There was no way she was ready for kindergarten.
We found out that Madison was autistic. She has PDD-NOS. We were shocked. We didn’t know much about the autism spectrum, and I fell immediately into a deep depression. How could this happen to us? After all the things my partner and I went through just for being gay, now we have an autistic child who will get judged as soon as anyone sees him. I didn’t want that for Madison. I didn’t want that at all.
What about this was challenging? Easy? What ethical principles guided your representation? If you had more time or space to develop your character, what would you do or say? How did our class readings (especially Sinclair, Murphy, and Sicile-Kira) influence your character?
The thing most challenging about writing this introduction was creating a scenario where I would have to make the parent think that autism was a tragedy. Studying autism has opened my eyes and I never thought of it as a tragedy or horrible thing. So writing as a parent and her first reaction to her autistic child was a little hard. If I had more time I would continue to the end of the first chapter in this story where we learn more of the mom’s first thoughts and how life changed for them all. The reading “Don’t Mourn For Us,” by Jim Sinclair influenced me a lot because if I continued the story all the way through Madison’s mom would go through the struggle of not having a normal child to accepting and realizing that her child is normal but different.