AoA censors dumb things. Apparently the moderators are those kids, you know? You know the ones, the power-hungry ones who decided who was cool and who wasn't? The ones who let you know you weren't part of the group, you were the enemy.
Unless they wanted someone to beat up on, and then they'd let you hang around the fringes until the beating was over.
That's AoA in a nutshell. Bullies. Swaggering, raging, testosterone-filled (oops, sorry, lupron-dosed) bullies who have decided on their own version of reality, of what autism is and who gets to play on their playground. They've decided their "science" is the real science, that big pharma is out to get you (unless it's providing the chelators and lupron, right?), that autism is vaccine damaged heavy metal toxicity, or if you're one of their extremists, a combo of lyme disease, SV-40, and vaccine damaged mercury overload. Oh, and that vaccines aren't any good anyway and the diseases weren't that bad in the first place (Craig, I know that's not everybody and it's not you).
Seriously, bug up your ass, it's what I'll be. So, don't put my comments on, since it gives me more fodder and proves more each day just what kind of outfit you are. But note, dear readers, that your post gets on here, automatically, no moderation. You're free to engage in debate, hopefully civilized, but not necessarily. You're free here to be who you are and say what you believe. I might disagree with you, I'll certainly tell you why, but I'll still view you as a human being at the end of the day, one with feelings, and one who's taken the time to talk to me, so someone I'll care about and wish well. That's a damn sight more than you'll get at AoA. And if you don't believe me, then go look at the few posts that weren't ringing endorsements for Julie's rant. And look at how the writers are villified for not toeing the party line.
So, my response to Teresa Conrick, AoA's resident attack person:
So what's Angela's agenda then? And why exactly would offering words of comfort to someone who believes differently about the etiology of autism automatically register to you as not genuine?
Are you that one dimensional? Really?
I'm not painting all posters over there with the same brush. I recognize that many readers don't share AoA's views, nor the views of their regular commenters. And there's a couple regulars, like Benedetta and Craig who I have empathy and respect for, even where and when I disagree with them. They are always welcome at Countering's Facebook group and Raising Autism. Anyone who wants to be in a supportive, accepting environment and focus on making life easier for oneself and one's family while actively seeking the best way to help one's child live a fulfilling and emotionally satisfying life, whether that ends up being an independent existence or not, is welcome.
If you're still stuck on the woo path, but want some help coping, you're welcome at our different groups.
AoA can knock back our hands stretched out to them, that's fine. They can call it fake, that's fine. We know that our offers are genuine, that our hearts ache for other's pain, and that hugs, virtual and real, can go a long way in soothing the hurt. We care because we are there, we have walked the path, we walk it now, and we know that it is not an easy journey. It does not need to be a bitter one. A jealous one. An ugly one, no matter how difficult the journey. It can still be a joyful one. Even when feces is being smeared. When meltdowns occur. When a child rages and lashes out. It can still be a journey worth the taking. When the "recovery" never happens and you have to accept that autism is around for the long haul, it can still be a joyful journey.
I've been on this path for nearly twenty years, and my boy, my bright sunny boy, will be by my side until I step off the path and into eternity. And it can be a joyful one despite the hurt, despite the setbacks, despite all of the obstacles set on our path, if we choose it to be. It is in each of our hands to make our lives have the meaning, the tone, we want it to have. Regardless of the circumstances. And it isn't a pollyanna view, it doesn't sugarcoat the hard realities we face.
So, if you're tired of AoA's anger, frustration, rage, bitterness, vitriol, I don't care why you think your child has autism if you want to focus on tomorrow and making the world a better place for our children and ourselves. You are welcome to join me on this journey. To make a joyful noise that celebrates the life we have while working to make our futures better.
Cue Kathleen on the guitar. Ladies, tambourines and drums. And a healthy, hearty round of kumbaya.
Oh yeah, humor is required. The darker, the odder, the better.