The world my brother in law grew up in influenced a lot of his life, as it does for us all. It also influenced the choices that were made for him - both in childhood and adulthood. And even shaped his personality and how he behaves now. This, remember, was a world without early intervention, without ABA, without special education programs.
A few posts ago, I talked about my Dad's life with Diabetes back in the 60's. Some of that is my love of history but I think we need to step back into the past when it comes to autism, also. In order to understand the present you have to study the past. And the fact of the matter is, attitudes of people to those with "disabilities" were way different back then. Then, autism was hidden. Then, it was something to be ashamed of, or at worst, diagnosed as a mental illness. There was little help. The mother was blamed, as my mother in law was.
Some would say "why dwell in the past?" Well, I don't intend to dwell there. But what I and my spouses' side of the family is dealing with is something that resulted from those choices, with those opportunities (or lack of). So please keep in mind, when I talk about my brother in law and my feelings, that he did not grow up in the world of today. If you want to judge please hold off judgement for now.
Rather, I hope that my experiences and his will help others now walking in our shoes.
In the next post....autism "then".