A message for Mr. Jon Stewart
First on behalf of the World, thank you for The Daily Show. I watch it every day at work on my lunch break. Thanks for keeping us all in check and cutting through the bullshit. Thanks for coming back from your Christmas Break with a bang. Lots of crazy stuff went down while you were on vacation. As always you and your writers didn't disappoint. You went after the tough issues and put things in perspective after the talking heads muddled through the issues. Love the show.
Your show and your intelligence have made you a personal hero of mine since your appearance/confrontation on CNN's Crossfire. It was truly a legendary performance.
I also wanted to thank you for Night of Too Many Stars. As a father of a child with autism, it really means a lot to me that you would put yourself out there for such a good cause. My daughter was diagnosed with ASD in July. When we got the news my wife and I were gutted. It took some time to get our heads around it. What does it mean? Where do we start? The doctor gave us some paperwork and things to sign and sent us back out into the world changed forever. After The Diagnosis I feel like we actually grieved the loss of a ‘neurotypical’ child. We really felt like we’d lost something.
We made the decision early after her diagnosis to be open about it. We weren't shouting from the rooftops or anything, but we told people what was going on. After watching Night of Too Many Stars we kind of took it to the next level. We started a website www.goteamkate.com. We've done an interview with our local newspaper here in New Brunswick. We're making t-shirts for her therapists and family. I guess you could say we're shouting from the rooftops now :) It would really mean a lot to me if you would check out our website. If you liked us on Facebook I think I would shit a brick.
We've learned a lot since the diagnosis. We've researched therapy options. We challenge the government and the medical professionals to do their best. Just like you take on the newsmakers, we cut through the bullshit and push for what's best for our little girl.
We have discovered one unsettling fact however. Parents tend to be marginalized by autism policymakers. People in government are so hung up on titles, educational background and their own egos that they forget how much of an asset parents like us can be. We spend more time with our children than anyone and we are more motivated to find suitable therapies and interventions; we search for a cause and a cure etc. It’s emotional for us. It’s not our job it’s our life. The bottom line is that parents have more to offer than they are given credit for. They should be given a voice in the process of treating their child and searching for answers.
So, here’s where I believe you come in. You’re a smart guy. Why don’t you show everyone how educated parents of autistic children can be on the subject? Talk to the always funny and brilliant Big Daddy Autism or Homestyle Mama just to name a few. I’d love to see you challenge someone from the CDC or discuss some myths about autism with Sanjay Gupta or Mark Blaxill. What about asking Alex Plank what everyday life is like living with autism or check in with another father. As you know it’s not easy being the parent of a child with ASD. We worry a little more about them and what the future holds for them. We could use a boost from time to time. If you’re willing then I bet you could provide that boost. Just like your appearance on Crossfire, a conversation about autism on your show or some other medium would be truly legendary.
I wish you and your family all the best on your journey,
Alex Mouland, fellow father, big fan.