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I have found that in the media world of autism, there is a divide. It is divided into the group who want a "cure", and those who understand that most of what is described by the word autism are individual differences. The thing that "caused" my children's autism is being the children of me and my spouse. We are like our children and our children are like us. We are not puzzles to solve and we are not looking for a cure for our differences. We are not "shadows" in the classroom. We are looking for understanding in a world that is intolerant to difference no matter what the broadcast time given to the latest tolerance meme circulating. We are human beings not chickens, and we are supposed to be above pecking the odd ones to death.
I have spoken of inclusion and neurodiversity. The core of those concepts is understanding and support.
I have heard many pithy quotes about autism, but I think the one that is most apt in our case is "Autism, it's not a processing problem; it's a whole different operating system." It speaks to the basic differences that we have from the mainstream. The visual thinkers, the ones who are systems based learners, are the ones who make things happen. They can envision and execute the next new thing that will make a difference in our world. So let's find a way to include those who are differently minded. Give a system based learner an understandable system to learn. (Hint: it's not Everyday Math.) Let's work to find the strengths and build on those rather than testing and retesting to find the supposed weaknesses in our children.
Most of all lets take a chill pill and stop risking our children's health for unscientific rhetoric about the newest "cure" or the supposed risks of vaccines that keep our children alive. Remember that "Parent Activist" said that her community would line up for measles instead of risking autism? Well, I love my children healthy and alive with a few quirks. This link says it all:
I am tired of funds being wasted on disproving over and over again an unethical "scientist's'" findings. To find out more about that particular issue read "The Panic Virus"
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I am infuriated with shysters taking advantage of others in the special education community who haven't had to the time or experience to vet a treatment or strategy. Even those with a certain amount of savvy can be fooled. I recently read a post from another mom blogger who had to face down a person who was taking advantage of her family. Why do "sensory" brushes cost $4 from a special website, but you can purchase one from the dollar store for 35 cents? If we could share our experiences it would help all the other parents of children who have just received a diagnosis to smooth their way on this unpredictable path.
Take some time and explore a new way of thinking about autism and neurodiversity.
Let's work together and get some good done in our own communities and make sure our lawmakers are getting it right.