This post is so amazing, so moving. So much emotion. Such love, such a journey.
This is such a powerful post, and something everyone who works with children, especially special needs children should read. Parents too, because we don’t KNOW what our children are feeling, special needs or not.
What’s really scary? The stigma we apply to people who need help, ESPECIALLY children.
Content note: ableism, stigmatization of Autistics and other PWDs, the Sandy Hook shooting
I didn’t want to write about the shootings at all. I knew a number of people (who I’ll link to throughout this post) and organizationswould be posting and writing, working to counter the inevitable stigma fail that would happen. I even was keeping to commenting on the links of people I care about, people who I know and who I want to have these sorts of discussions with. Then, it happened. I’ll leave the critiques of the post gawker promoted toothers, but I feel obligated to make a comment about some of the assumptions it is based on and promotes.
That comment starts with a declaration: I was one of those scary kids.
It’s not some great proud thing to say. It’s a truth, a truth that when I reveal it makes people…
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Children don’t stay children forever – they grow up. Autistic children don’t stay children forever – regardless of the fact that only recently has there begun to be awareness of autistic adults by the greater non-autistic population. How do we chance our perspectives in order to free our minds of fear about our children being independent, and rather look for ways to make it so?
“Cocktail party awareness doesn’t do jack for my kid…Real awareness is about people. It’s about understanding how autistic people experience the world. It’s learning what it feels like to live inside a brain that is wired differently.” – so much yes to this.
Very important information regarding how autism symptomology presents differently in girls and boys, and the challenges that presents.
I couldn’t love this more!
“A medical diagnosis is NOT the defining characteristic of a person.”
Medical facts are important and necessary in order to get the best care possible. BUT – making PREDICTIONS about what a person will accomplish in their lives when that person is a CHILD, is irresponsible. NO one could have predicted where Temple Grandin – who didn’t speak till she was FOUR YEARS OLD – would be today looking at her when she was 3.
Get your child what they need to be their best selves, but at the same time, let your child be a child.
Knowledge, support, awareness, acceptance, and understanding are hugely important to the autistic community and to those who love them. Sadly, there’s a disconnect between the Corporate echilon of Autism speaks, those who work hard “on the ground” to help those who need it, and many in the autistic community – most notably autistic adults, which is what autistic children will become. This article is a quick, basic description of the issues at hand. Please visit The Golden Hat Foundation as an alternative, if you are looking for an autism non-profit to support.
This just sucks large. There’s no other way to put it. I read this book and it was wonderful. I don’t even know what to say about this. I don’t know enough about SSI, disability, etc., but honestly why can’t we figure out how to SUPPORT people in this situation instead of cutting them off at the knees?
Emotional, powerful, heart-wrenching, and very educational. Thank you to the author for sharing so much of themselves in order to help others.