Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.


Normal People Scare Me

I really couldn't think of a better title! I am ordering this dvd, & really excited to see it in full-length. I know this YouTube piece has been out for a while, but I just came across it. So, figured I'd share, in the event someone else missed it too.

So much of what we, the general public, see of autism is very negative. The majority of news pieces and interviews done feature parents, researchers, therapists, and doctors--very rarely autistic people. The conversation generally involves searching for a cause or a cure, controversial treatments, the financial and emotional stresses felt by families, and all too often, autistic children are portrayed as wild, out of control, and completely disconnected. Their parents cry and talk about how painful it was the day their child was diagnosed, and they speak of the daily anguish they feel, living with autism. Many times, the talk becomes even more hopeless. Some parents describe autism as having "stolen" their child's soul, that it's as if their "child was kidnapped," they compare autism to cancer, and some have even admitted contemplating killing their child.

I have no doubt that if the topic was something other than autism, the public would not stand for this type of hate speech. If the parents of diabetic children came out and said that the day their child was diagnosed with diabetes, they felt like their life was over. People would be appalled if these parents continued on, complaining about the cost over medical care for their child, how time-consuming checking blood sugars was, and how stressful it is to maintain a special diet. If they said it was as if their child had been replaced by some other child, that this just wasn't the same child they had before diabetes, people would have to pick their jaws up off the floor.

Can you imagine...

An ad campaign for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a father declares:
"I didn't choose this."

On this year's MD Telethon, parents shake their heads, saying:
"You just keep being disappointed."

The father of a child with cerebral palsy:
"I really hope I'm not changing his diaper by the time he's six and a half."

The next St. Jude commercial:
"I actually contemplated putting my child in the car and driving off a bridge."

The mom of a child who is in recovery from leukemia, when asked if she was going to have any more children:
"I'm done having children. I always thought I'd have at least four or five. But I got my a-- kicked."

I am pretty sure these parents would be advised to get psychiatric help. Perhaps in some cases, child protective services would be called in. There would be no excuse for any of these parents to make public statements like the ones above. Yet, the ones above were made and continue to be made by parents of autistic children. And no one says a word for. It is unforgivable. Stop the hate speech NOW.

Support & promote videos such as the one above. If you truly care about what kind of life your child will have in 5, 10, or 20 years, this campaign of shame and blame needs to end now. How do you expect anyone to offer a job, or services, or living arrangements to someone who for years has been portrayed as being inhuman, wild, disconnected, soulless? Personally, I don't want my child to have to fight the public and their cruel misconceptions her entire life.


Heraldblog said...

Great vid, great comments. Thanks.

Casdok said...

Yes great post. My sentiments exactly.

Val said...

Preach it!