2/25/2012

Roadblocks When One Least Expects Them

Parenting children with special needs is challenging. We spend so much time brainstorming ways to help our children get around some of their issues and which issues don't need the getting around because there's really nothing wrong with the "issue." We are inundated with experts promising all the answers and pounded on all sides by people certain they know the right answer for our families better than we ourselves do.

Many of us come looking on the internet for community, for support, for ideas on how to best help our children accomplish their best. Some of us stay because the ever-abundant opportunities for discord and oneupmanship are more interesting and distracting than solitaire or designing Sims houses in which we trap our Sims in a room with no door and no bathroom, just to see.

I've been blessed to have found both support and community and some of that distraction of getting into it. It's been awhile since I bothered to weigh in, put my foot in and offer my opinion on why I'm right and someone else is wrong, wrong, wrong, and honestly, I'm not going to start now, because, in part, after fighting illness for well over a month, I don't have the energy, and because it wouldn't matter anyway. I'm not certain I am right, or that there's only one way.

I do think, though, that there are many of us looking for the chance at outrage, for an opportunity to lash out, and I understand that. There are so many truly horrific things to be outraged about. The Judge Rotenberg Center is an abomination that should be closed down, that should have many people doing hard jail time. And that's just the most visible tip on the iceberg of things that need to be fixed. We should be horrified, outraged, and moved to action.

Instead, some of us spend our time searching out individuals to be pissed at, good people doing the best they can, but who might differ from us on our views regarding autism and its place as a determining factor in who a person is. It's so easy to pen angry pieces. So satisfying.

Instead of chances to build support and community, we find ways to divide and conquer, to strike out at others and bring them down instead of building them up. Instead of high-fiving a young boy who read aloud his first word, we can bash a mom who associates her son's struggles with his autism and crows in celebration over her son's hard-won victory.

We pick sides. We divide ourselves further. We tear partnerships apart and we make certain that each of us feels a little more isolated.

Ah well. All in a day's work, right?

The last month plus has taught me about myself, my husband, my children. As my time has been spent sleeping, lying ill, with no energy, and far too often with no voice, we've learned that not everything needs attending to, that families that lean on each other can get through unexpected challenges, that messy rooms don't hurt anybody's feelings, and as long as people are getting fed, dressed, and most of all, loved, it's all good. Drama is a wasted emotion, wasted energy, especially when it's not placed on a cause that really matters, that is important.

Judge Rotenberg Center is an abomination. It matters and drama is called for. We should be pissed and forced to constructive action over it, consistently, not just when it crops back up in the news for the latest horror to be related. Petitions are a start. Go read Lydia Brown's petition, and if you believe that this center is the abusive, illegal, corrupt place I believe it is, please sign the petition.

Google the center and kwombles and read some of the pieces I (and Kathleen) have written over the years.

http://www.science20.com/countering_tackling_woo/abuse_restraints_and_uphill_battle-85812
http://open.salon.com/blog/kwombles/2010/07/12/false_dilemmas_and_strawmen_over_shocking_the_disabled
http://open.salon.com/blog/kwombles/2010/07/03/parentdish_judge_rotenberg_center_and_commenters_beyond_the_pale
http://respectforinfinitediversity.blogspot.com/2010/07/judge-rotenberg-center-serial.html
http://respectforinfinitediversity.blogspot.com/2010/07/ruminations-on-judge-rotenberg-center.html
http://respectforinfinitediversity.blogspot.com/2010/07/over-thirty-years-later-when-ends-do.html

4 comments:

kathleen said...

You hit the nail on the head..thank you.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not certain I am right, or that there's only one way."
Words to live by. Unfortunately, too many think it is ALL ABOUT THEM.. They are so consumed with being right-being loud-being dramatic..that they don't see the forest for the trees. Nor do they really want to. It might deflect attention from themselves. It's all about them right?
Thanks for posting the petition. I hope a lot of people sign it. xx Michelle

Sunday said...

You are quite right Kim. Thank you for writing about this. So many of us in the community want to be a united front and yet there are many who seem to make that impossible.

K Wombles said...

Thanks, ladies.

I appreciate your words. :)

If we'd all take a minute to consider first before reacting, things would probably be more productive. Of course, that statement would make some say I was making an argument from tone...no winning sometimes in this community.