Flash Blog: This is Autism

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 is Autism

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?

But, wait.

THIS IS AUTISM. 

This month’s stim of choice:  frogs and jacks.

This month’s stim of choice: frogs and jacks.

See that beautiful grin?

And, this. THIS IS AUTISM, too.

A heart-to-heart with SB; and where there is a party, there must be hats.

A heart-to-heart with SB; and where there is a party, there must be hats.

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:

Love.

Love.

Or, THIS:

Joy.

Joy.

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:

Autistic Self Advocacy Network:  ASAN-AAC Statement on Autism Speaks’ DC “Policy Summit”

John Elder Robison:  I Resign My Roles at Autism Speaks

Peter Berns, The Arc:  An Open Letter to Suzanne Wright

Diary of a Mom: No More – A Letter to Suzanne Wright

***

Thanks for listening. It feels good to be back.

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2 Comments

  1. Jim

     /  November 18, 2013

    Thanx for the blog your attitude is so refreshing and your son and my son and all of us are so very fortunate to have you. Yesterday I also got that happy face and a high five and a quirky look into my face and it was great!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply
    • Thanks so much – and, you do put a smile on his face every time he sees you, and we hear “Papa Jim” repeatedly for a while after too! We are lucky to have this whole family that is so supportive of our kid, and I am grateful for that!

      Reply

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