Mum-Of-Three Seriously Divides People After Admitting She 'Hates' Autism
Sarah Mills, 33, was criticised after sharing emotional posts in which she described the difficulties she experienced as a special needs parent.
Sarah, a blogger from New South Wales, Australia, has three children - Hendrix, 10, Monroe, seven, and Morrison, three - two of whom have been diagnosed with autism, with the other currently undergoing testing.
Her post - which described her struggles as a mum of autistic children and was shared to Facebook page Amongst The Stars - drew all kinds of emotions from her followers.
Many special needs parents were quick to praise Sarah for being "real" and "honest", but she received a backlash from others for speaking negatively about the developmental condition, which affects around one in 100 people in the UK.
In her post, Sarah wrote: "I love my children more than anything in this world. But I hate autism with every inch of my being.
"I know as autism parents we are supposed to love it, embrace it and celebrate it. But today I am battered. I am bruised. I am traumatised.
"I would never wish this journey on anyone. I am so angry at this label, this one simple word that instantly means that I am supposed to be shouting with pride from the rooftops.
"I live at the mercy of completely unpredictable, uncontrollable mood swings. From a child who is growing stronger, smarter, and crueller with each meltdown."
Sarah went on to say that there was a "stigma" around parents or carers who struggled to cope with their children's autism, which made her feel like a "complete failure".
"We have this growing epidemic with more and more children diagnosed with autism every single day," wrote Sarah.
"Instead of looking for ways to curb this, or change this, we are simply pushing to embrace, accept and adapt.
"The glamorisation of autism makes me feel so inadequate. The stigma around carers who struggle, or parents who fear it, makes me feel like a complete failure.
"Autism isn't a colourful puzzle piece that needs celebrating. It can be absolute hell and it scares me at how normal it's painted to be now."
Sarah said it was important to emphasise that while she does 'hate autism' she does not hate people who have the condition.
She said: "I hate autism, but that doesn't mean I hate people with autism.
"My daughter has eczema. I hate eczema, it doesn't mean I hate people who suffer from it. I hate what it takes from my children, I hate the added stress on all of us, I hate the stares in public when my children have meltdowns.
"I hate the judgement, I hate people telling me they just need a good smack. I hate the lack of support for carers and the lack of understanding.
"I hate that people glamorise this condition and don't care at the mental stress associated with it."
The mum added that although her posts 'triggered' many people and she received harsh criticism, she felt it was important to share her thoughts so that parents felt less alone.
She said: "Someone will always find offence in any opinion, thought or feeling you have. Autism doesn't define my child, so I refuse to glorify something that upsets them and causes them to feel different.
"TV shows highlight the intelligence of people with autism yet we don't see the darker sides. We don't see the faeces being smeared all over the walls, the holes in the walls after meltdowns, the bite marks left over carers arms, the screaming, the crying, the extra work involved.
"It's not all high IQ's and witty conversations. I have had so many messages flood in from mums and dads thanking me for putting their thoughts and feelings into words.
"So many feel alone in these thoughts, or feel the pressure of society judging them if they don't love every minute. Parents need to hear that it's okay to not love all of it. You can love and adore you precious child more than anything and still hate part of the journey.
"Raising a child with additional needs can often be a lonely journey. I just wanted to make other parents feel less alone."
For information and advice, visit the National Autistic Society
Featured Image Credit: Caters