Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Now here's what happens when people don't understand autism...

There's a controversy in the blogging world, and it all revolves around a blog entry from a woman.

I can't write any more than that without either giving too much away, or exploding with some indescribably hideous emotion all over my stinky brown couch.

If you have the time, read this: http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B5C2Ta2YGCfTYmRhOTliZTUtNjQ5ZC00MmNjLWJmYzItNWU5MjNlYzU4ZTc3&hl=en

It's the cached version of this woman's blog entry of a few days ago. It was taken down by the author, and if you read it, you will understand why. Surely that's enough incentive to click.. go on, you can give up a couple of minutes...

There are responses to it all over the internet, in fact you can read some of the best and fairest in some of the bloggers in my blog roll.

But it makes me so sad, angry, sick, disconsolate... add your own depressing word to that list (as I'm almost sure you will after you read it.)

Well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Because if, for some bizarre reason you don't know and/or love anyone with autism, then maybe you would have had a similar reaction. Without the adult dreaming of stabbing herself in the eye with a pen over a child's behaviour bit, hopefully.

In essence, I may have thought something similar before the A word entered our lives. Thought, being the operative word. Even I, who is known for arranging words into colourful little collections occasionally, would never have thought that an adult sitting in judgement on a child could be humorous. Nor could I have spent time chuckling about how I (literally) hid behind my bible as I contemplated hurting an enthusiastically verbalising child (and those who know me and my religious views well, know why but that's another story).

I feel sad that there are people in the world who have no compassion. I feel disappointed that children like mine and carers like me can be considered objects of mirth  because our behaviour might deviate from the socially defined 'norm'. I feel sick, truly on the edge of hurling, at the thought that this kind of discourse is going on around my child, and not being automatically challenged by other human beings.

Let's get it all out on the table. My kid, and his autistic peers may flap, dribble, have toilet accidents, talk about unusual things, repeat themselves again and again and again and again, yell, scream, bite, cry, freak out... are you laughing yet? Because I can go on and on...

And what you will not know unless you walk a mile in our shoes is that we bargained with our own Gods at 3am so we could hear any words coming out of our kids mouths, we dreamed of the day we could bring them to a public library, we got a little feathery thrill when we saw that they were a tiny bit interested in touching a computer keyboard, we hoped that one day they would stand next to another child without clamping their hands over their ears...

I hope this woman's unfortunate decision making reverberates around the world. So opinions like hers will be challenged when they appear... in the street, in the shopping centre, in the library... and maybe the challengers might be people with kind hearts and without direct experience of autism.

Though with the diagnosis rate accelerating like it is... I guess that's unlikely. We're everywhere, people... and we're not hiding behind anything. We're just being.

Edited to Add: Smockity's version of an apology. At least she tried.

6 comments:

Katie said...

Val - I hadn't seen the article (the other caches didn't work for me).

What is wrong with that woman?! Even after someone points it out, she continues bashing the girl and her grandmother. And her comment about having a disability that prevents her from tolerating bratty behavior?

How wonderfully non-judgemental of her.

You know, if you have to broadcast that you read the Bible or are a Christian, you obviously don't live your life the way the church wants.

Forget religion, though. This b*tch lacks HUMAN decency. UGH.

Anonymous said...

I genuinely feel like I am going to go throw up after reading that. I am not sure if this is judgemental of ME but her being so into her Bible seems to make her intolerance and lack of compassion even worse. The hypocrisy. Just. So. Angry.

Anonymous said...

sorry that anonymous post was me, DQ, who lives here www.ishouldhavecalledhimcalvin.wordpress.com
next time I will bring my brain when I post a comment....

K- floortime lite mama said...

just read your lovely article on letter to Billy
Very very lovely
The blogpost u speak of cannot be read but I understood the gist of some of what she was saying - really bugs me - the smug and judgy attitude from her

Mich9 said...

Thanks for posting the article. I got to read it, and couldn't believe it took so many positive posts to get to the two that brought up the idea of autism. Of course, we mothers with children that are on the spectrum are more aware of that child's behaviors, and even more sensitive and possibly sympathetic to others that have it. But it's obvious that this woman, and probably many, many other people in the world whose lives have not been touched by autism in any form, are capable of passing judgement and think that they aren't even wrong in doing so. The Bible as a cover-up is a weak excuse for her lack of integrity. I'm glad they closed the comments because it could just get more and more ugly.

Rebekah said...

wow, i haven't been reading my autism blogs, and i missed a bunch of drama. i will have to read that cache file when i get home b/c my work network is blocking it.