Suzanne Wright, on behalf of my three wonderful, vibrant autistic children, I salute you with my middle finger. How dare you suggest that my family is not "living"?
Each day across this country, those three million moms, dads and other care-takers I mentioned wake to the sounds of their son or daughter bounding through the house. That is - if they aren’t already awake. Truth be told, many of them barely sleep—or when they do – they somehow sleep with one ear towards their child’s room—always waiting. Wondering what they will get into next. Will they try to escape? Hurt themselves? Strip off their clothes? Climb the furniture? Raid the refrigerator? Sometimes – the silence is worse.
These families are not living.
They are existing. Breathing – yes. Eating – yes. Sleeping- maybe. Working- most definitely - 24/7.
This is autism.
Life is lived moment-to-moment. In anticipation of the child’s next move. In despair. In fear of the future.
As to life lived in the moment, you bet--lived fully, experienced completely. In good times and bad. But not in despair. Yes, occasionally in fear, but that's because of fearmongers and hate speech generated by people who view autistic individuals as less than. Not because of my children. Yes, they'll need help. But they'll have each other and our community who know and care about them.
It is a disgrace what you have done, despite the concerted effort of autistics and their allies to alert you to the harm of your rhetoric and actions. You spew hateful speech and then you condone and endorse the torture of disabled individuals by letting the Rotenberg Center be at your resource fair. You have declared war against an entire population. How can it be seen any other way?
There is no national plan to build a city for 500-thousand people.
Are you suggesting, Mrs. Wright, that autistics be segregated from society ala Escape from New York?
I would say shame on you, Autism Speaks, but your founders and leaders have no shame. So, instead, I say screw you. I've tried working with you, advocating a change in your message and beliefs. I've pushed for you to stand up and against torture.
There is no working with Autism Speaks, no point in continuing a dialogue in hopes of influencing them as long as people like Suzanne Wright wield the power.
So, I can promise you this. I will make sure my community knows the harm in Autism Speaks' rhetoric. I will provide information on other organizations and point to the importance of supporting those who actually experience the condition and listening to them.