I know, I run on the angry side, anyway. Just this week I've been driven to irrational anger twice. Once when I saw a grown woman feed her husband from her plate, and then when I saw a car-dealership use the term 'lady-driven'. This is different though. This version of anger I am about to explain is a little more dangerous because someone is trying to fuck with our children and I don't have to tell you that WE won't have it.
There is an actual website, nay a movement, that is attempting to convince parents of children with autism to inject them with small doses of the vaccines they believe are the cause of autism in order to eradicate autism. It's as foolish as it sounds, I promise.
Now, you can go to that website and read until your blood boils but when it comes to something this dangerous I think we have a greater responsibility to do something about it. Tell everyone you know about these crazy assholes before they really cause some damage.
This pseudo-science fuckery is a dangerous propaganda that could reach some very afraid, and uninformed parents. These "Doctors" are masquerading as experts and it's up to us to call them out for their supreme bullshit.
I'm using this blog to share with as many people as I can, that this website and those like it, are formidable.
For the love of Jonas Salk (a REAL doctor, by the way), do not let these people infect our population with their bizarre methods and alarming disinformation.
And, furthermore, don't let some salesman pretend that a lady can't drive the shit out of any car she damn well pleases!
I suppose I could have written about this topic long ago. Maybe I did. I don’t have the energy to check back but if this is redundant, well, I don’t really care.
Autism and Getting Sick
It’s no secret that autism can be challenging for both the individual rocking the autism and their families. If you’ve read anything by me, you’ve seen me run the gamut of emotions surrounding autism, from ‘I hate you autism, you fickle bitch’, to ‘I love autism because it makes her who she is’, to ‘I was told there would be cake and this whole thing is bullshit’, so you won’t be surprised when I say something that might not be as kosher, as you’d like.
There are times when children with autism get sick (and in my experience, it is not often, because these children have a very high pain tolerance and manage to dodge much of the illnesses that afflict the rest of us) and when they are sick (not a serious illness, of course) they sort of “slow-down”, if you will, and frankly, there is a small part of us that might enjoy that, just a little.
Relax Margaret. I am NOT saying that I enjoy it when my child gets sick. In fact, Miss Kate just spent eight days with a fever that had her refusing to eat and it was one of the scariest times we’ve had with her.
I’m actually talking about those little ‘bugs’ that take us out for a day or two. The times when Kate has one of those, she actually moves at a “regular speed”, and likes to cuddle a little, and sometimes she slows down her manic speech patterns and can tell me something that happened to her. So, yeah, I enjoy those parts of it.
Maybe you still think I’ve crossed a line, so you can forward your hate mail directly to my ass because I don’t care.
It happened this weekend. I’ve been thinking we could go a little longer without her recognizing any sort of deficit or difference that would make her feel less than amazing. Our Kate, as many of you know, has a fairly strong self-esteem. She’ll be eight years old next month and for so long we laughed with her when she announced her superiority in topics like Ninja-fighting, cat-farming, masterpiece-painting and other number of things, to anyone that might listen. We revelled in her confidence because we knew she might someday be made to feel bad about all of things that make her so amazing. We knew that soon enough the world wouldn't let her hold onto that self-love as corny as it sounds.
It started with this simple sentence:
“One more time, Mama?”
Sounds harmless, I know, but when Kate says that little phrase to me or to anyone, it is really the first time in her eight years that she is noticing that she is not following along with the rest of us. By the time she decides to use this little phrase she has already asked you to repeat yourself enough times that she is tentative to ask again. This is new for Kate. The tentative bit, the nervous bit. She wants you to repeat yourself, but her hope is that you will say it again in a way she can understand this time and she won't have to keep asking. It is such a grown-up reaction and mixed with my pride at her maturity is the heartbreak that she might ever feel less than her perfect little self. Her little face, with its giant blue eyes and impossible blonde hair bears a look so unnatural to our Kate. It’s a combination of sadness and embarrassment and it's absolutely crushing.
Confusion is not new for Kate. Don’t get me wrong. It’s been the Hallmark of her version of autism for a very long time. Kate’s moments of confusion have, until now, been manifesting in anger at the other person or the situation because her confidence had not allowed her to believe she could be wrong, or lost. Her fortitude prevented her from accepting she was anything but top-shelf and we liked it that way. Sure, at times, those that didn’t know her might think she was due to be knocked down a few pegs, but I invite those people now to look into her eyes as she realizes for the first time that she is different and not everyone is going to be okay with that.
It’s a moment many parents of children with exceptional needs, will eventually go through. There will be some who reach it early, and some later, and some will wish this was their problem to have, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
So when she’s out and about and she says to you. “One more time?” please be patient and reassuring and help her understand because she’s working really hard to come to terms with her new reality and frankly, so are we.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)