What the ASD Community needs you to know about Autism
One in 110 children are being diagnosed with Autism in the US today, this means that you either are an autistic family or you know someone who is autistic. As a supportive community, ASD families are constantly looking for ways of helping society understand our [autistic] world a little better.
It is sad to say that this was not the case with the Dr. Oz's "What causes Autism" show that aired on February 17, 2011. The message that echoed deep within our hearts as we watched with horror was - "be afraid, be very afraid". Be afraid of vaccines, be afraid of the environment, be afraid of conceiving over the age of 36, be afraid of where you live, be afraid of what you eat, be afraid of dying, BE AFRAID!
Rather than showing stories of people living with the different spectrum of autism, portraying the good moments as well as the tough ones; the producers of the show opted to represent the parents who seem to think autism has ruined their lives and shattered their dreams. This would include the same woman who appears on a past autism speaks video talking (in front of her daughter) about contemplating murder-suicide by driving off the George Washington bridge. Is that really the message you want to send across to millions?
Below you will find a list of names, all making the same request. Give autism a chance. Let us tell the world what is it really like to live an autistic life, as parents, as teachers, as therapists, and as friends. Let us show the world that a diagnosis is the end of one dream but just the beginning of another. Let us talk about the importance of early intervention, the joy of everyday achievements such as a spontaneous laughter or finally being able to turn a door handle - small accomplishments that a neurotypical family might take for granted. Let us try to heal the damage done on February 17.