Autism Speaks dared to put up a piece written by Suzanne Wright, a parent of a child with autism, HERE.
And "dared to" is the word, based on the appalling comments that followed the piece...from those supposedly in the autism community.
Wright dared to write about the daily reality that her family and many families like hers face when dealing with a child who is on the severe end of the autism spectrum. It's not a pretty sight, that life. I have only ever had a glimpse of it from other bloggers, and from individuals in my own neighbourhood...like the man whose son only crawls (and that "boy" is now 20+ years old), is non-verbal, does not acknowledge anyone's presence, wears diapers, and requires full general anesthesia a couple of times a year so that they can get into his mouth to clean his teeth.
Yeah...that kind of autism.
But damn...the comments!!! Unbelievable. And I thought our severely intellectually and physically disabled kids had it bad within the disability community. Nope...walk in the park by comparison.
Autism has been high jacked by the high functionning types who roam far and wide singing it's praises as a gift, a benefit, another way of thinking, based on those very few with some savant abilities, or with a few quirks that they manage to sell as "endearing qualities" rather than challenging sensory issues or behaviours. For heaven's sakes, Asperger's syndrome even made it on Arthur, that once-funky-now-turned-preachy kid's cartoon. Of course, Brain's uncle had autism too and he was a genius....of course. It was so predictable, because nothing offends the neurodiversity bunch more than talk of "intellectual disability", "self-abusive behaviour", "stimming", "meltdowns", "aggression", "seizures", and other realities that a significant percentage of those with autism suffer from.
Oh god, don't say SUFFER!! Autism is a total party you know! Not a neurological condition! Good heavens no!! I mean, one has to be diagnosed by a doctor as autistic, but it's not a medical condition...really...it's a gift! A lucky happenstance! Kinda like Jesus, Einstein and all the other geniuses. And, incredibly, some comments refer to this honest article as ableist propaganda against "autistics".
Neurodiversity pot calls the kettle black.
Those whose children suffer from severe autism are my kind of parents...the kind who deal with severe disability. It galls me that the neurodiversity ideologues (very much like the full-inclusion bunch) make no distinction between their experiences as individuals mildly affected by autism and their brothers and sisters who are not so fortunate. I am shocked that their head in the sand attitude toward autism realities on the far end of the spectrum allows governments to dance around the need to set up supports that directly benefit families and children dealing with this neurological disorder. I grow increasingly tired of reading glowing reports of "successful autistics" that insist the only "cure" needed for autism is an attitudinal one. It is incredibly disheartening to read so-called autistics...and even parents of children with autism...blame the parents for their child's severe challenges, accusing them of not loving or understanding their children. It's a disgrace that individuals who are working so hard to get proper supports in place have a battle for recognition to fight first within their own community.
Like Harold Doherty, I applaud Autism Speaks' "brave" move to publish an honest portrayal of autism as many families experience it: a neurological disorder that hurts their child and by extension, the family that deals with it day by day.