Stay Quirky has been quiet for awhile, but I think it’s time to come back.
Between Autism Speaks telling me that my child’s life is a tragedy, and a school official telling me that my son is an “enigma” who defies evaluation, I’ve got a few things I’d better get off my chest.
Let’s start with this, in the spirit of today’s “This is Autism” Flash Blog.
This Flash Blog was created in response to Suzanne Wright’s fear-mongering “Call to Action” for Autism Speaks. Her Nov. 11th letter was intended to spur action, and it sure did – a lot of it against Autism Speaks for distorting the truth about autism, distilling it down to its most disabling attributes, and willfully ignoring (again) the very people they purport to help.
Wright used the phrase “This is Autism” to define my son’s diagnosis in the most terrifying terms. She said our family is “not living. They are existing.” She said that our life is nothing but despair over a lost child. This is Autism?
THIS IS AUTISM.
See that beautiful grin?
And, this. THIS IS AUTISM, too.
Of course, as I’ve said on this blog before, raising a child on the autism spectrum has its challenges. Like any parent, I have concerns about my son’s future, and we work hard to ensure that he has the skills he needs to have a successful life. I can’t deny that some of the fears that Wright exploits are or have been real for us. Sometimes, Autism is hard.
But we never lose sight of THIS:
THIS IS OUR AUTISM.
Please read and share the other “This is Autism” Flash Blog contributions, many of them created by those on the spectrum themselves who can tell us, from their valuable perspectives, what Autism “is.” You can also go to the following links for some insightful responses to Suzanne Wright and Autism Speaks. [You can use Google to find Wright’s essay, but I’d rather you not, it’s pretty depressing].
These statements, and SO many others that came up this last week, are well worth keeping in mind anytime Autism Speaks decides to paint three million lives in the hurtful and damaging hues of pity, isolation, and despair:
Thanks for listening. It feels good to be back.