Monday, June 12, 2017

I'm BAAAAAAACK........

Ok, it's been YEARS since I posted anything to this blog. After my dip into borderline crazed psycho b*tchland that my last blog turned into I've honestly been afraid to post anything. (And don't bother looking for that other blog, that sucker is dead and gone.)

I was talking with a friend today, and told her about how I used to write, and I realized how much I've missed it. So - while I'm formulating some ideas I thought I'd share an older posting. At the time I wrote this I was in college for my BSN and ran up against some astonishing stupidity from a professor I had.


Autism, ignorance and stupidity.

I had a very interesting, although upsetting conversation last year with one of my professors. I had stopped in to see my Chem lab instructor, and in the course of talking she asked how my son was. She knows Wy's autistic, and we've had conversations about autism before, but never one like this. She was asking about his schooling, what kind of class does he go to, is he in a special school, all that. I told her he attends a specialized autism class in a regular elementary school, that he goes to a regular classroom for math, science and specials (music, art, gym,ect.) and that the kids eat in the cafeteria every day. She looked shocked. She told me that it was a bad idea for him to go to a regular school, that "children like him" should be in a school for kids with disabilities, and not around "normal kids". She said that it's not good for "normal kids" to be around "damaged" children, that it will make them "act like they're damaged too". (anything in quotations is a direct quote from her).

I was disgusted. This level of ignorance and prejudice, from someone with a PhD?!?! I was stunned. So much so that initially, I didn't know what to say.

Once I pulled my thoughts together I politely explained to her that Wyatt was not "damaged" his intelligence is intact, he's able to communicate, and he's doing very well in school. I then made an excuse and left. Had she been anyone else, I would have ripped her a new one, but since I still needed a passing grade from this cow I had to bite my tongue.

Later that evening I talked to my older son. One of the sororities on his campus was doing a lecture on autism so he decided to go, thinking he might learn something new. Sadly, no.

The lecture consisted of all the standard stereotypes about autism. Autistics can't express feelings, they all rock and handflap, they're not able to communicate, they don't make eye contact and autism is caused by vaccinations. Autistic children (And of course, ALL autistics are children) are victims, helpless, unaware of the world around them, incapable of showing affection, learning, or experiencing joy. When the girls presenting the lecture threw it open to questions, my son proceeded to dismantle nearly every point they had presented. He asked them if any of them knew someone with autism, and not one of them did.

He told me not one of the girls from that sorority will talk to him now. He said it's no great loss! God I love that kid.

I'm just so sick and tired of the media presenting autism as this horrible "disease" and "epidemic" that NEEDS TO BE CURED!!!!! MY GOD WE HAVE TO SAVE THESE POOR SAD LOST CHILDREN!!!!

Please, shut up.

My son is not lost, he's not a victim and he's actually a very happy kid. He knows that he's different, but he also knows that he's loved and accepted for exactly who he is. There have been times when I've told people he's autistic, and they respond with "Oh the poor thing" Oh bless his little heart" Oh that's so sad".


I don't tell people he's autistic so he'll be pitied, I do it so he'll be accepted, so people will understand that he's he's not a brat, he's not hyper and he doesn't "need a spanking". I tell people so they'll understand that there's a reason he responds to questions with quotes from movies, so they'll know that he can't always make eye contact because it's too overwhelming for him. I do it so people will learn, so they'll see that autism is not the end of the world, it's just a different way of experiencing it.

Despite all the sobbing mothers paraded out by Oprah and Autism Speaks, not every parent of an autistic child is sitting at home thinking their life is a living hell. Unlike Jenny McCarthy, not all of us are subjecting our children to experimental treatments, restrictive diets, psychotropic medication and intensive, sometimes torturous therapies in the hopes that they'll become "normal", that they'll be "cured". Many of us are doing everything we can to help our children learn and function, WITHOUT trying to change who they are, or trying to force their square brain into the round hole of neurotypical function.

Many of us love our autistic children exactly as they are.

So get over it already.

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