What I Believe And Why

Bottom line:


Respect People with Disabilities. Respect Diversity.
Recognize that people's value and worth is independent of their functional level.


Help people be accepted and supported.


Help people reach their potential.


Respect each person's uniqueness, while working to reduce suffering and improve functions.



Make people's lives better.

Biomed.

Stupid name. Everything in treating autism is biological or medical in nature, even if it's physically related like PT, OT, and speech, it's working to rewire the neuron connections, hence it is biological.

How about evidence-based versus woo/alternative? Better distinction. Way more accurate.

I am for evidence-based practices and minimal-to-no-woo.

Vaccines.

Do not appear to be a cause of autism at the epidemiological level.

Really not interested in arguing with individuals on their personal narrative level.

Adverse reactions do happen.

More research should be done on making vaccines safer, and on making the safest schedule for individuals.

Autism.

Multiple causes. Multiple variations. Not autism, but autisms.

Autism Community/Autism Culture.

I am not an autism mom.

I am not autistic.

I am the loving, accepting mother to three children on the spectrum.

 I am a member of the autism/autistic community.

I hope that we can form an overarching community where people feel valued and accepted.








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 many parents are choices each individual makes every single day and every single moment of his or her 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 if I think it's absolutely necessary.

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

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.


...


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 little to no chance of harm to the child.)

I support parents who choose to use appropriate medications to treat symptoms that significantly impair functioning (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 supplements (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 and providing a place like the Autism Blogs Directory so that people have a place to find community is important.



Calling folks on their BS is often the right thing to do. Ideally it can be done tactfully and some consensus or at least an agreement to disagree can be reached. Sometimes, though, we have to recognize where  dialogue is not advisable and back off. 


We can disagree with each other, and we can all still gather and sing kumbaya if "the other side" agrees to it. They tend not to, though, and once they mark you as the enemy, there you remain.

Not wanting a "cure" 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. I would remove the disabling aspects in a heartbeat. It just means I don't use that terminology.

I acknowledge that, based on the current body of scientific knowledge, autism is a neurological condition, not vaccine injury, that is both genetic and environmental and appears to be 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. If we can avoid environmental conditions that cause autism (which by definition is about deficits, disorder, and disability), we should.

So, no, I won't trade a "cure"  for who my children are, although I would remove all stumbling blocks, all disability and suffering 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).



Almost everyone is welcome here at this blog and, up until recently, posted without moderation. Moderation has now been enabled, but the vast majority of comments will get through. Unfortunately, some individuals' actions have led me to switch to moderation. Just because I have to read the comments doesn't mean all my readers have to be exposed to them.



Updated and revised August 18, 2011.



13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just funny when some individuals take their right to justice whether a cause/tretment is "woo" or not.

Dear Kim,

let the science in the hands of specialists and do not confuse victims.

KWombles said...

Dear Anonymous,

Just funny when anonymous commenters make no sense.

FC is woo. Rapid Prompting is woo. I'm more than capable of analyzing the science in my field. I'm also perfectly capable of detecting bullshit and flimflam.

Janine E. said...

Preach on sister! lol! We need more moms like you! I won't put all my opinions out there like you do because I do not deal well with confrontation, I tend to get nasty and turn stupid real quick, so I'm glad that there are people like you who can get the message out so nicely and sound intelligent while doing so. Agree with a lot of what your saying!

KWombles said...

Thanks, Janine. ;-)

Angel G said...

Yay! You have put on this page what I've been trying to express to people around me.

I am so happy I came across this blog!

Thank you.

KWombles said...

Thank you, Angel!

Kirsty said...

Wow, you have said everything I believe about autism. Glad to know I am not alone in my beliefs (I have 2 on the spectrum and wouldn't trade their wit and unique take on the world for anything!) I will definitely be a new subscriber to your blog! Kirsty @ My Home Truths

Madison said...

Every now and than I stop by to read this. So much wisdom.

aquietweek.com said...

Dear K,

Thank you for this. I wish I would have found you in 2009 when my son was diagnosed.

Our views on autism converge. I am so pleased to see paragraph after paragrph of wise, measured thought.

I will follow with much interest.

Lori D.

K Wombles said...

Madison, thank you. Sorry it took so long to respond...the months have slipped by me.

Lori, thank you. I'm looking forward to getting to know you! If you haven't looked at the directory, I'd encourage you to give it a glance--autismblogsdirectory.blogspot.com

Full Spectrum Mama said...

BEAUTIFUL. I feel like we have found a friend. THanks!

VikingRN said...

Early interventions are key! My wife is an autism specialist and ECSE teacher . She would agree with everything you have tried to communicate.

Unknown said...

Philosophically I am completely in agreement with you and, as the parent of a now-adult severely autistic son, I am absolutely appalled at all the woo and quackery out there. And not ashamed to admit I have wasted my share of money and time on it. One thing that I genuinely do not understand, though, and perhaps you can enlighten me. Take, as an example of woo and quackery, Yasko. I have read your article on her and am revolted at the money she charges and the hopeless complexity of her supplement regimes, SNP pseudoanalyses, and so forth. Yet, as you know, the online forums of full of parents who swear by her, claiming their children have been "rescued" by her protocols. In other cases of woo and quackery where the patients themselves claim to get better (and what nonsense modality doesn't have its wonderful testimonials), we would attribute this at least in part to placebo effect, confirmation bias, what have you. But where it's the parents not the patients posting, what's the explanation? Is it just misattribution (they got better for other reasons)? Self-deception (the kids really did not improve, but the parents want to believe they did)? Were the kids really not significantly impaired to begin with? I just don't know what to make of it, even though I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent critical thinker. Thank you, for any insight.