Discrimination

This post is very important for every parent of an autistic child to read, especially parents of non-speaking children. And I wish Autism Speaks would think about this when they put together their fearmongering videos with parents saying they feel like killing themselves and/or thier children IN FRONT OF THEIR CHILDREN.

Into The Woods: Children will Listen (lyrics)

Careful the things you say, Children will listen;

Careful the things you do. Children will see and learn;

Children may not obey, but children will listen;

Children will look to you for which way to turn;

To learn what to be.

Careful before you say “Listen to me”, Children will listen;

Careful the wish you make, Wishes are children;

Careful the path they take, Wishes come true, not free;

Careful the spell you cast, Not just on children;

Sometimes a spell may last, Past what you can see

And turn against you. Careful the tale you tell;

That is the spell. Children will listen.

Emma's Hope Book

In Emma’s RPM session yesterday with B. on the topic of discrimination, Emma wrote, “Autism voices have been silent.” (Emma initially typed “silenct and then she edited that to “silent”.)   B. encouraged her to write more, asking her what she suggested.  Emma wrote, “take time to try and learn from us instead of staring at us like we are garbage.”

When she wrote the word “garbage” I felt sick to my stomach. This, from my twelve-year-old daughter.

I remember when my father would call me into his home office to scold me for my latest infraction.  I remember the shame I felt.  I still remember the tingling feeling of rebellion mixed with self-doubt when I noticed the disapproving stare of a stranger upon seeing my outfit – a crop top and pair of cut-offs that I’d smuggled into my backpack to wear to go shopping with a friend after school…

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I’ve changed my mind

I’ve changed my mind

As a parent of an autistic child I consider myself lucky that the Temple Grandin movie was my most recent exposure to autism. I had seen Rainman in my 20’s but it was just a fuzzy memory when my son was diagnosed.  Temple’s struggles, experiences, triumphs, shared perspective, and explanations of what autism was/is to her gave me positive foundation on which to parent my child. The blogs of parents who share a similar journey and attitude, and the blogs of autistic adults have given me even more information, hope and courage to support my atypical child. I am forever thankful that.

Tone it down

Tone policing, to put it simply, is THOUGHT policicing – basically saying “what you say/how you say it is making ME uncomfortable, so YOU need to stop so I can be comfortable again”. Um, no.

love explosions

By Beth Ryan

Tone Policing.  Please stop doing that.

What is tone policing?
I’ve created some examples based on what I see people saying.  Often.  Too often.  Tone policing doesn’t just apply to Autism Speaks discussions.  But that’s what’s on my mind lately.

Example 1:
Person A:  Autism Speaks is a horrible organization which promotes the hatred of Autistic people.  Giving your money to them is funding a hate organization.  I am Autistic and you’re financing hatred of me.
Person B: I agree with you but people are just going to dismiss you as cranky and angry if you take that approach.  You need to gently educate people if you want them to listen to you.

Example 2:
Person A:  You shouldn’t support Autism Speaks because only 4% of its budget is used to provide direct services to Autistic people.  Autistic people are excluded from meaningfully participating in the organization…

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Are you a bully in sheep’s clothing?

Are you a bully in sheep’s clothing?

Not sure how to use trigger warnings – but silencing/othering/condescension are part of the post this is linked to.

As a neurotypical parent of an autistic child, when I read this post the first time, it wore me out. I honestly do not understand the need for NON-autistic people, often autism-parents (like myself) to correct AUTISTIC people regarding how they refer to themselves. It boggles my mind. If autism parents can’t step back and listen/respect OTHER autistic adults, how in the world are they ever going to learn to listen/respect their own children?

Autistic children do not remain stagnant. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults.  You can’t predict the future of a toddler/pre-schooler, typical or autistic. Who in the world would have predicted that Temple Grandin would have a B.A. (Psychology, Franklin Pierce College), an M.S. (Animal Science, Arizona State University), and a Ph.D. (Animal Science, University of Illinois) when they had met her as a NON-speaking 4 year old?

Repeat after me: We are ALL different.

Yes, this!

(autism) comics by suburp

1oneperson

As I said before, I do not believe in this one “autism community”. It’s ok for me, though, there are different groups. What is not ok is that debates escalate online in flaming wars and attacks get way too personal for me to want to be involved in any discussions or ask even questions to understand what is actually going on?! I understand partly how anger and trauma can make people get more than just ‘passionate’ over whatever is discussed, but there should be no “enemies” in this debate – no one ‘in the trenches’. We are not fighting a war, are we!? We are living life with autism, all of us, in all our differences. Different lives.

Link to one parent blog from New Zealand on the subject (a blog I really recommend), another opinion from another parent here (US, a bigger blog, I believe). Also here an Update…

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