What I Believe And Why

Much of what follows was written more than a year ago in response to other bloggers' misstatements about my beliefs. It's been made a page on the blog for ease of finding. I'd like to state that this will keep folks from misrepresenting my positions, but I'm well enough versed in this to know it will make no difference at all.

"Kim Wombles is a particularly twisted individual. I certainly hope she is not an assistant teacher to kids with autism. She would be just the kind of weirdo that some district would assign to a child and she would then try to brainwash the ignorant parent into thinking autism was just beautiful," so said anonymous at Best's orgy of hate. 

Yes, I am particularly twisted.

Instead of getting upset when anonymous commenters, AoA attack people, or people on Huff say tacky things about me, I tend to either not care or laugh, rub my hands with glee and get busy with rebuttals. But I don't get my feelings hurt.

I can take constructive criticism, reasoned debated, being told I'm wrong and why. I'm good with that and happy to have that. Those of you who have read me for awhile know I thrive on good exchanges. It doesn't even have to be logical; I had some of my best fun with some really illogical, unhappy people at Huff. They talked to me, and I talked back. It was good because it was interesting. I was disappointed when one of them had to go too far in his offensiveness and refuse to back off of it. I'd still be talking to him now if he would have owned that.

The "people" commenting anonymously over at a certain name-calling miserable wretch's blog obviously aren't interested in an exchange of ideas, but in tearing down others to make themselves feel better. That's fine. It makes it obvious that they are miserable people not worth the personal response.

It's okay to call names when names are deserved and reasons follow to explain the name-calling; I've done that and I'll do it again. And not feel a bit sorry for it. My blog is unmoderated because I feel it important to follow my convictions. Censorship of ideas is not okay. So, if you want to come on here and offer reasons as to why I deserve invective, then you are free to do so. But you own your words. Otherwise, anonymous merely allows you the temporary borrowing of someone else's balls for the occassion.

Now, in case it's not clear from my lengthy and numerous posts on autism:

I am the mother of three on the spectrum.

I consider my children to be beautiful, interesting, fascinating individuals in their own rights. I love them and consider them to be my joys. I would lay down my life for them. They do not need to be cured. I celebrate who they are. As a good parent does, I help them with skills they need to develop, but I love them regardless of their ability to make eye contact, to sit still, to go with the flow, to write, to become independent. I love them completely and unconditionally.

It has not been easy to raise these wonderfully challenging little people and I do not pretend it has. I do not minimize the challenges, nor the pain involved in knowing a child will not have the life you'd hoped for.

I think bitterness, rage, and the ugliness too often displayed by the mercury brigade are choices each individual makes every single day and every single moment of their lives.

It's their problem. The shame of it is that this spills over onto their children, their families, their communities, and innocent bystanders.

And so, I'll point it out where I see it. I'll note it for the record.

And I'll be proud that some folks in that bitterly raging ugliness don't like what I'm doing.

If they lack the courage of their convictions to engage in dialogue with me, then I'll file them appropriately.

I have met some incredible people through blogging and am enriched by the experience. And humbled to know that I am not alone, not the only one willing to stand up against woo, against hate, against discrimination and ugliness against members of the autism community.

So I might not say to parents autism is beautiful, but I'd absolutely say their child is beautiful, valuable, and loved.

On a later post, I added the following (slightly edited):

I believe in OT, PT, speech, sensory integration therapy, play therapy, ABA/cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence based therapies, although my children have not used all of them. (Or at least, that if done correctly, they may be helpful while having no chance of harm to the child.)

I support parents who choose to use medications to treat symptoms (having been there and done that; it at least has decades of clinical evidence behind it as well as some double-blind studies-- I would not choose it at this time with my children and their particular behaviors), vitamin suppliments (but not megadoses), and specialized diets for children with additional food allergies.

Since I do not believe that autism is heavy metal toxicity, I do not condone chelation. I do not condone lupron. I do not condone HBOT. At least not for autism.

Reaching out to adults on the spectrum, to other parents, whatever their beliefs on the cause of autism is the right thing to do. Calling folks on their BS is also the right thing to do. Ideally it can be done tactfully and some consensus or at least an agreement to disagree can be reached. And we can all still gather and sing kumbaya.

Not wanting a cure, at least not in the way some appears to mean, since it appears obvious where their beliefs incline, doesn't mean I don't want my children and other children with autism to receive every effort to help them achieve independence and satisfying, fulfulling lives.

It means that I acknowledge that autism is a neurological condition, not vaccine injury, that is primarily genetic and set by birth (and in many cases caused by in utero trauma) and that the effects of autism in and on the brain are systemic. If we can avoid in utero trauma we should.

So, no, I won't trade a "cure"  for who my children are, although I would remove all stumbling blocks, all disability if I could, and where I cannot, I will work tirelessly to create workarounds for them. We are our neural network. I'll bust my ass to give them the tools they need to do well in this world while working to make this world a safer, softer place for them.

I don't particularly care if that means I get lumped into some fictional movement that exists only in the minds of some truly angry and emotionally disturbed individuals.

I've said what I stand for, and I've been consistent. Often times, others label me as an ND (neurodiversity) and hurl it at me as if it were a curse word, and yet, one could argue that the bastion of ND rejects me as not qualified or worthy of inclusion on their hub, so makes you wonder, doesn't it?

I don't embrace the term of neurodiversity and assume I fit within the ideological stance that others who promote ND have.  I believe that every human being is worthy of respect and acceptance. Our motto is acceptance, appreciation, and accommodation (coupled with the necessary action to make these things a reality).

Anyone is welcome here at this blog and posts without moderation. So you tell me who's more inclusive? Who's willing to engage in discourse? A blog that tightly censors and bans dissenters or one who accepts all who wish to engage in dialogue?


Autism Mom Rising said...

That's beautiful. I don't have to agree with everything to recognize the intelligence and sincerity in what you have laid out there. What you do is important. We are lucky to have you.

You stand opposed SOME things I value. I don't take that personally because I am not so defined by these things that I would take that as a personal attack. I think sometimes it is hard for people to separate that out - a disagreement with something you believe or value is not the same thing as attacking you personally.

Then sometimes it gets dicey because some people are just mean and ARE attacking the person along with the belief. That's when I just tune out of discussion. If someone wants me to pay attention to his words and not his tone then
snark doesn't help. I'm not going to just sit there and be talked down to. I get too easily distracted and I'll hold onto that all day. No more.

KWombles said...

Thanks, AMR.

That's okay; I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and as long as folks are willing to accept my right to act on my beliefs (so long as I'm not harming my children or others), I respect others' rights to come to different conclusions.

For example, I'm an atheist, but I have a profound respect for people of faith who live good lives and make the world a better place because of their beliefs. :-)

Ah, I can't promise to always avoid snark, but I try to be sincere in my interactions with others!

kathleen said...

Well done Kim! It is nice to come to a place that is open to discussion..more importantly a place where people LISTEN to each other..not that it doesn't get heated every now and again :) I think you and your blog (s) are pretty damn wonderful. even if you do like fruit and ice cream...sigh..;0

Clay said...

"the bastion of ND rejects me as not qualified or worthy of inclusion on their hub, so makes you wonder, doesn't it?"

I know that exactly a year ago, you were at the top of the list for inclusion in the Hub, but as there was no 'forum', (the Hub List being disbanded), there was no mechanism for voting you in.

I think the new Hub administrators saw you as a competitor, as you pretty clearly had beaten them out when you "stepped into the breech" to provide a comprehensive listing of autism-related blogs while the Hub was on hiatus.