Moms Who Make the Sun Come Out

February 7, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Moms Who Make the Sun Come Out
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refrigerator moms

Rainy days and movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. We had a dreary afternoon the other day and it seemed like we would never see the sun again. I settled in to watch a documentary that I’d bookmarked awhile ago but couldn’t quite bring myself to watch. Refrigerator Mothers is a look back to the 1950’s-60’s at the devastating experience that families of children with autism had during an era when medical professionals attributed the cause of ASD to poor mothering. It follows the stories of several American mothers and their adult children who were challenged by autism but traumatized by the professionals whose help they sought.
Surely we know better than this, right? One would thank that we’d never again blame families for causing a disability. And one would be wrong, as this article from the Huffington Post points out.  
The Bruno Bettelheim era is a sad and shameful episode in our history and one I didn’t feel like posting about until Robin asked me this: Did you notice that how even now, 40+ years later, the moms are still trying to teach their grown-up children?

It’s true.

These moms never gave up. Even though they themselves are past retirement age, these women still see the learning potential in their sons and daughters who are now in their 50’s and 60’s. They still challenge them to learn. They still teach at every opportunity.  They never stop teaching. With every interaction, these mothers are stretching their children, teaching them, offering new opportunities to learn and practice their skills. Despite it all, these mothers just keep teaching.

Hey, look — the rain stopped.  I guess the sun will come out after all.
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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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