As an active campaigner of understanding of special needs, I insist to the world that autism does not define my son but by saying "No", I am saying that it does. Zidane is who he is, not because of autism, but in spite of it.
I have two neurotypical children in addition to Zidane. If there was something that I could do that would give them a head start in life, wouldn't I be expected to do it? The ability to take away Zidane's special needs would put him on an even playing field with other children, that would be a good thing. Zidane lives in a state of constant confusion as he tries to understand people and the world around him, I would do anything to be able to change that, to make him able to interact and behave as he wants to.
I love my son unconditionally and with that I accept all parts of who he is. Had he not had autism, and instead suffered with eczema, I would not insist that his itchiness and red sores were a part of him and I would never change them for the world. His unseen ailments are no different.
…..but there is no magic wand. My son DOES have special needs and all the wishing in the world can't take them away. I accept that, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to give my son every opportunity that is available. I am prepared to tirelessly campaign to raise awareness so that he can live in a world that is accommodating and accepting of him and children like him. I am prepared to seek out different ways for my son to learn and to progress, and to celebrate the child that he is at every step of the way.
My son is special, with or without his 'special needs'.