but the overwhelming process of choosing the name by which i shall be known on this blog completely sidetracked the principal motivator which propelled me into starting a blog in the first place.
I had been toying with the idea of starting my own blog for some time now, for purposes ranging from satisfying the innate homo sapiens compulsion of communicating segments of my subjective state to more noble purposes consisting of sharing more objective truths I have stumbled upon in my research on autism , but always ended up backing out out of laziness, paranoia, or a wide spectrum of other reasons I shall not list…
Until today, where my anger couldn’t be curbed by mere reflection and time passage and had to find an outlet in words . And so this is how this blog came about, a product of anger ,frustration, resentment and rancor.
Oh yes, the rancor .
The bitterness. This unyielding hate which accosted me during a short span of time earlier today, one which still echoes now as I force through neural networks towards the stored memory at its inception to ramble and complain about it.
It all started a couple of years ago when my son was diagnosed with autism …
Well, it all started a bit before that if one were to be factual, at my birth, really. Or at the very first stirrings of character and concept formation to be more precise . But for the sake of curbing boredom I shall assume , on the behalf of the reader should there be any, a pre-established knowledge of different personality characteristics , and concepts such as hate and resentment somewhat analogous to my own.
So…Autism. My son is autistic.
Being the information junkie that I am, the first defense I had against this update to my life was researching, researching , and then more researching in a quest to alter my perspective to fit this newly acquired information as seamlessly and as painlessly as possible to the mosaic which constitutes my whole.
I learned a good deal of things about autism. From as many standpoints as there are saddle points on a hyperbolic plane. Ok , maybe not literally as many, although I suppose the figurative language employed aptly communicates the breadth of my research . And while I by no means claim to be any expert or authority on autism, I still nonetheless have a decent background in discerning the newest crack treatments and “miracle cures” which I often find myself subjected to by the mother of one of the children at my son’s school . And today in particular, her temerity knew no limits.
I have multiple issues with what this woman is constantly perpetuating , the first and foremost being that autism is some disease which needs a treatment , or as she put it, ” a cure which saved my son” .
While I understand the many difficulties, frustrations, and hardships of raising a child on the spectrum ( or any child, for that matter ), and acknowledge the human need to blame it on something or find some reason so as to justify it to ourselves , I take offense when that justification entails labeling my son as being sick, ill, diseased, abnormal, handicapped, or any other term associated with limited functionality and ability for contribution- especially when it comes from a parent of another child on the spectrum. Because my son is none of these things.
He might behave in ways which would be considered atypical , but he has so much to offer if one is only a little patient with him and willing to accept a different outlook on events . He has consistently surprised me , allowing me to see things from new never before explored perspectives, even with his limited speech .
He is the coolest little guy I know.
So when this woman tries to tell me to administer to my son some unknown substance by an unknown unlicensed individual to detox him from the vaccine in order to ” save him” and ” be a good parent” , my indignation and anger are boundless.
Even if what she claims is true ( which isn’t) , I do not wish to change my son. He is perfect the way he is. The school he attends helps him learn techniques by which he can filter the anxiety inducing mass of incoming data so as to be able to behave in an independent and functional manner in this impatient society far too preoccupied with functionality and efficiency – and thankfully, he is surrounded by a team of great educators who accept him for who he is and create an environment in which he is stress free to progress towards fulfilling his potential ,whatever that may be, because to them , he is just a little boy, regardless of his neurological makings.
The Second issue which aggravated me is the agenda she is promoting that had her spouting all kinds of nonsensical unfounded and long ago dis-proven babble regarding the MMR vaccine as being the cause for autism , animating her conversations with pedantic technical words intended to obfuscate the averagely informed parent and to present herself as the all-knowing queen of all that is autism , even handing out cards to different “professionals” who have “saved her son ” in dubious ways by detoxing his body from the array of chemicals added to the vaccine which according to her, is the reason he is as he is.
Now some people might question the nature of my anger and wonder at the reason I should be so rankled by her actions – after all, she is but a mother trying to find answers and provide her child with the best tools to help him in this harsh world , who am I to fault her her joy at having “discovered” the cure which has made her son that much better ? (the strict regimens he follows at a school specialized in educating autistic children is completely unaccounted for by her in the progress he has made ) I wish to clarify that the reason for my anger is that her happiness comes at the expense of autistic individuals everywhere , as well as the parents who happen to be taken in by her erroneous if somewhat charismatic rants against vaccines.
From the few tidbits of conversation I have been exposed to while waiting for my son , I have gathered that at least 2 other parents have already taken their children to be detoxed from the evil vaccine, and have heard another speculating on the vaccine and wondering whether or not she should potentially skip administering it to future offspring.
For a brief clarification of the history of the controversy regarding the vaccine, here’s a clear article which tracks the timeline and the reason the false correlation arose , complete with links to other articles and studies done to disprove the vaccine as being the cause for autism.
But please, don’t take my word for it. I am after all only a person on the internet linking to other sources from the internet, so do some research for yourself and you’ll find an abundance of academic and peer reviewed papers on the issue. In any case, it is clear that the risks of skipping the vaccine are much more pernicious than administering it.
The picture of autism this woman is painting is one where autistic individuals including her son are not “normal” , where they are ill and need saving to be able to be complete , a view which is highly detrimental to any child’s development. Her behavior and outlook towards her son as being some kind of incomplete person who needs curing in order to fit into her standards highlights the child’s differences and renders them shortcomings in his eyes, thus causing more anxiety and stress in dealing with his surroundings , possibly promoting his introspection and disconnect from a world which he has learned to perceive as un-accepting of him and aggravating the symptoms associated with autism.
Perhaps if she actually accepted his differences instead of trying to conform him to her ideals of normalcy, she might get her “miracle cure”, because when neurologically typical children are forced to conform to their parent’s ideals, they rebel . Autistic children’s rebellion though comes in the form of disconnect .
While I know I might be projecting all my frustrations and bitterness over a wide range of issues onto this woman , I do it because I believe that if parents start accepting their autistic children for who they are , the rest of society will follow , and the future for the neurologically a-typical will be that much brighter.