Somebody to love

No no, not The Queen song but my new T shirt.

As you can clearly see, it states that I love someone with autism, it could have actually read that I love all people with autism 😉

But, is it ‘someone’? Or should it be ‘somebody’?

Or does it even matter? Is either OK?

Answer / advice below please.

Thank you.

11 thoughts on “Somebody to love”

  1. Excellent T-shirt, Soutie!

    As far as I am aware the two are interchangeable. I think “someone” is slightly more formal, but I could be wrong.

  2. Soutie my T shirt would say “I love kids with autism” . That’s because I know so many! Adorable, beautiful, beguiling and challenging. I have a new job working with near 60 children aged betw 5 and 12. I love the job.

  3. I think they can be used interchangeably, but someone tends to imply a person you do not necessarily know, but somebody implies a person from a group that you know. I don’t think it really makes much difference, though. What about “anyone”, rather than “someone”?

  4. Hi Soutie, in my internet travels, I came across this blog:

    Somewhere, the author talks about the fact that parents are at ease saying that they would love their child if he/she turned out to be, gay, or fell in love with someone of a different race/religion/culture etc. Some parents even say not only would they not mind, but they would actually prefer their children to be different in such ways. But one thing they never say is that they would love their child to be disabled. (That was what she said, not I.)

    It leads us to the whole abortion debate, which is a curious one. Mothers abort ‘unborn infants’ who may be disabled, have Downs Syndrome, be autistic or possess some incurable and debilitating disease. While, as the blog author points out, nobody seeks such an event, if such a child is born, parents make extraordinary sacrifices to keep him/her alive and as healthy and happy as possible, often at the expense of their other children. It is a bit of a paradox.

    Then we have this:

    My mother’s youngest child, my youngest brother was born with severe disabilities. My parents took the decision not to bring him home from hospital. I never met him. He remained in an institution and died 3 years later. I discussed my parents’ decision with their friends and contemporaries, long after my mother had died. Some said that they made the right decision, others, that they were wrong. Had my brother come home, he would have required 24/7 attention. The rest of us would have suffered a loss of care and attention. On the other hand, had he lived at home, we, or perhaps I should say, I, (I cannot speak for my siblings) might have become a more compassionate person. Either way, he would have died.

    My cousin, who died last year of cancer, aged 50, bore a son who is severely autistic. He is an extremely tricky individual. His carer, of 25 years, loves him and has dedicated her life to him. On the other hand his 4 siblings struggle to tolerate his behaviour. Though I do not know them that well, I believe that in their eyes, their brother is more of an ‘it’ than a ‘he’. Yet, as far as I know, they are good, decent young people. I would find it very difficult to judge them negatively.

    Ultimately, love and care for such people boils down to an individual’s own conscience. I applaud your compassion.

    Now for a really, really sick joke. If I get a dog, I will call him ‘Syndrome’, so that when he jumps up at me, I can say, ‘Down Syndrome”.

  5. Sipu, apart from the last two lines — a very good comment on the whole situation – we should not judge others decisions without knowing the whole story.

  6. PapaG, I know, keep up the good work.

    We (as an association) having established both pre-school and schooling facilities are now focusing on after that, adult care is a very neglected part of an individuals requirements, we can only house our children at the school for so long (boys 16yrs, girls 18yrs) which is why we no longer restrict our sloganing to children.

  7. Sipu :

    It leads us to the whole abortion debate, which is a curious one. Mothers abort ‘unborn infants’ who may be disabled, have Downs Syndrome, be autistic or possess some incurable and debilitating disease.

    I may be wrong but I’ve yet to hear of autism being diagnosed in the womb. To the best of my knowledge autism is diagnosed after parents notice behavioral and/or learning difficulties normally at about 30-36 months.

    As for your link to the killing of babies with defects, it led me to wonder if either of the authors are married or have children (I notice that they are both male!)

    Do they honestly think (or do you for that matter) that parents who have gone through the thrill of a missed menstrual cycle (“honey I think I’m pregnant”), celebrated the news when confirmed by a doctor, watched their child grow on an ultrasound and after being told the sex given the child a name could possible kill him or her?

    Have they been thrilled by the babies first kicks in the womb (“honey, quick put your hand here”) or been woken at 2am in the morning by kicks so strong that if your wife is cuddling up to you they wake you up?

    Or redecorated babies bedroom, purchased all the baby paraphernalia (trust me there’s lots, prams, cots, baths, bedding etc.) not to mention the clothes?

    And after 7 glorious months of expectation culminating in a 4am wake up (“honey, it’s time”) and a trip to the hospital that they could even think of killing their newborn because of some un-prediagnosed defect?

    No chance.

    Most (if not all) will accept their lot and being aware of the amazing advances in modern medicine work tirelessly to nurse and create a meaningful life for him or her.

    As for your 4 relatives who find their autistic brother a nuisance I’m lost for words, was there no allowance for his care in your uncle’s estate? You mention that he has a 24 hour carer, what’s their problem?

    A touching personal account, thanks, as my mother always said “times were different then, very different”

  8. Hi Soutie, sorry, I was not ‘laying’ in autism per se, rather raising a range of ideas about children with disabilities and how people and society deals with them. I have no idea whether autism can be diagnosed in the womb. Probably not. But Down Syndrome can be and I suggest that managing someone with either of those can be quite similar. I cannot pretend to know anything like as much as you do, so I am not going to pretend. What I do know is that some families find it extremely hard to care for children with such disabilities. This is especially true if money is short and other children need to be cared for.

    Incidentally, one of the authors of the ‘ante-natal abortion’ report, Dr Francesca Minerva, is a woman. Both are Italian with connections to Oxford and Melbourne Universities. I do not know whether they have children.

    As for parents killing their kids, we know it happens. Many societies ‘allow’ their disabled children to die. It happens throughout Africa and many other parts of the world, I imagine. Older generations have told me that it was not unusual for such babies to be deliberately smothered in hospitals by hospital staff, even in Western hospitals. Not far from where I live, there is a baby bank, where mothers can deposit their unwanted children. I saw yesterday that they even have them in Germany now.

    I was probably wrong to mention my cousin’s family. But in response to your question, ‘what estate?’ Not that lots of money would have made that much difference as the state pays for a full time carer. Carer and child both live in the house with the rest of the family, but, life is tricky. Its a big family in a small house and he is very disruptive and uncooperative. The rest of the family are very nice, kind, decent people. I would never judge them. Despite my alleged shortcomings in this respect, see #6, I empathise with them a great deal.

    A very good friend of mine looks after his 45 year old nephew who has Downs Syndrome. The chap looks like a young teenager but seems to have the mind of an 8 year old. I have known him for 30 years and he does not seem to have changed one bit. He is perfectly sweet and pleasant, though I find it difficult to understand him as he only really speaks Afrikaans and with a tongue too big for his mouth so his words are very slurred. He still goes to school every day. He will always need to be cared for. Social services are not quite so generous here as they are in the UK.

    All I was trying to say, Soutie, is that society and individuals present some contradictory ways of dealing with people with disabilities. I admire your compassion and contribution to the cause you believe in. I mean that sincerely. At the same time, though, I would hesitate to condemn others who may have a different perspective.

    Back to your post, how about, ‘Please Love Someone With Autism’?

  9. Soutie, thanks. If you google “Eagle House School Mitcham” you will see a picture of where I work. It is a Grade 1 Listed Queen Anne building with further accommodation at the rear (Eagle Court). It is an independent school and caters for children between 5 and 11 to 12 years. There are two other associated schools, one for under 5’s and another to be for 12- 17. When I attended my induction I was told that the two owners of the ‘business’ have a wish in the future to buy and maintain accommodation and services for adults. So that would be a long term project and I wholeheartedly agree with you that the adult condition seems one that is not given too much publicity or focus – one doesn’t get to read much about adult autism, how parents and carers cope, or the range of help and services provided.

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