Category Archives: Uncategorized

Anti-Autism Prejudice: Media, Parents, and Damaged Children

a MUST read for all parents
“In fact, there continues to be extreme ignorance about autism, and autism-awareness efforts still obviously matter. They just need to be improved. Perhaps a synthesis can take place, in which autism-acceptance outreach and marketing campaigns are languaged, framed, and disseminated in ways that foster basic awareness, as well.

But autism advocates are also utterly right in their condemnation of lowest-common-denominator approaches as unacceptable, based on the idea that spreading any message about autism increases awareness and thus is beneficial. This leads to marketing based, sympathy-inducing storytelling that assumes autism as burden and curse to raise awareness and, often, money.

These marketing organizations think they’re not just doing no harm but actually doing good. But they usually are closed-minded and won’t truly listen to or consider contrary perspectives that might improve the work they do.

Anti-autism prejudice is damaging no matter the intentions, no matter how much money is raised, no matter how many views or clicks an article receives online.”

Ray Hemachandra @ Golden Moon Circles

Nicholas HemachandraMy son, Nicholas, was featured on the cover of the major western North Carolina weekly — the Mountain Xpress — a couple of weeks ago and the cover is, without question, The Best Cover Ever. Featuring a photograph by Tim Robison and art design by Megan Kirby, it’s something to frame for Nicholas’ lifetime.

Also, and sadly this part appeals to me, if I put it in a frame I won’t read the Mountain Xpress article, in which my family and two other families are profiled, again. And Nicholas won’t be able to read it, either.

When you’re unhappy with a piece you’re featured in, it’s always disorienting. You inevitably get lots of enthusiastic response from people who care about you and who think press coverage is a kind of special honor — mixed with upset response from people who care about you and know better.

You want to…

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How Many Blog Posts Does it Take?

The first weekend I was ever at my husband’s family cottage I coined the phrase “How many Wilsons does it take to_________?” after watching my husband and his brothers and father consult each other for every decision around the property. I knew that I’d been around the family a while when this year my mother-in-law included me in that phrase after I chimed in with an opinion on how far we had to swing the  heavy dock before we could continue pushing it out into the water. Touche.

I think though that the more accurate phrase to apply to me is “How many blog posts does it take to____________?” In this case, it’s How many blog posts does it take to get a working fridge in my kitchen?

My poor hubby. It’s not his fault. Honestly it’s not.

After staying at home for a couple of days after a wisdom tooth removal, he was ready to get out and do something, anything, and he chose to buy a new fridge. Who was I to argue with that? I mean I drove so that he could still take his pain killers…

He must have been further under the influence of those pain meds than I thought as we almost came home with a new washer and dryer too. (Again… who am I to argue this?) But reason and rationality (and a grumpy toddler refusing to nap) won out and we purchased a fridge. It was the first one that fit the bill (yes he insisted we look at all the others too, but honestly it’s stainless and fits the space we currently have (if you have read my prior posts about the old fridge dying or the “new” fridge dying, then you will know that this is a “temporary” measure until our dream kitchen is built in a few years.) So what more could we need?

Delivery day led to some nervousness… would it fit through the front hall (past the hunk that sits there still?) or would it have to go around back? Hubby and one of his brothers removed the ancient sliding doors somewhat carefully. I’m still not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed that they didn’t break. The delivery guys were ecstatic that there was such an easy way in. It was in our home within a few short minutes and then they were gone.

And I have a fridge in my kitchen!

It feels kind of weird actually. My kitchen seems smaller. But not having to go to the front hall or garage just to get one more thing for dinner is nice.

So I think the answer is “2”. Two blog posts to get a new fridge. So far I’m on three, and the hunk is still in the hall… but garbage day is tomorrow and one can always hope.


#Autismisnotacrime Flash Blog

#Autismisnotacrime It is *so* important to realize that the media has grabbed hold of a term and are creating unfounded fear. People with Autism are no more likely to be violent than “Neuro-typical” people. (In fact I’ve read some reports that suggest the crime rates may actually be lower). To the Media: Please stop demonizing our loved ones!

Musings of an Aspie

Today Gretchen Leary is hosting a flash blog with the theme #Autismisnotacrime in response to the recent (and not so recent too) stigmatizing media portrayals of autism and autistic people.

I’m low on words but after reading some of the ongoing coverage of the UCSB shootings, I made a couple of graphics:


 Image description: Green text on white background that reads “Autism is:” followed by four choices that read “Not having friends, Being withdrawn, A lack of empathy and A neurological difference.” The first three phrases are struck out and the last phrase has a check mark next to it. Below the choices is the text “#autismisnotacrime”. 


 Image description: Green text on white background that reads “Aspergers is:” followed by four choices that read “Not having friends, Being withdrawn, A lack of empathy and A neurological difference.” The first three phrases are struck out and the last phrase has a check…

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wear the change

April 2. Every year I dread that day. It’s Autism Awareness Day. Media always makes a big deal of it, running specials and documentaries, and several people will tag me in a post or send me an article that they hadn’t seen before, wondering if I’ve ever noticed it.

And recently my kids had an Autism Awareness Day at their school. Did it change anything? After talking to them the answer is a resounding “NO”.

It’s no longer about awareness, it’s all about ACCEPTANCE and INCLUSION.

I have been struggling to find the right words for my post, but honestly Jess from A Diary of a Mom is just so much more eloquent than I am when it comes to this stuff.

And my very favorite t-shirt that she designed can be found here:

Thanks Jess for de-tangling the words for me!

a diary of a mom

A couple of weeks ago, Katie came to me with a question. “Mama,” she asked, “now that we don’t feel like we can support Autism Speaks anymore, what can I wear to school for Autism Awareness Day?”

While I know the question of what to wear may seem silly to some, we take our autistic pride pretty seriously around these parts, and Katie has always embraced the opportunity to honor and celebrate her sister by wearing something special on Autism Awareness Day. She has, with Brooke’s endorsement, spoken to her classmates about autism ever since she was in third grade. And a big part of it, for her, is finding a physically visible manifestation of both her pride in her sister and her plea for understanding and support of those on the spectrum. “Lighting it up blue” – whether it be the house, our cars, or ourselves, was…

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