Our little sensory-seeker turns into a sensory-defender sometimes.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.
Below are examples of why this quote rings true for autism advocacy. I swear, I heard everyone of these with my own ears.
(I don't expect you to get a PhD in all things autism, but for the love of Buddha read a damn article or something. If you work with these kids or you know one (and you all do) you owe it to them to get educated about what it is like for them.)
(For the sake of symmetry I added ten things to each list, HOWEVER, I have heard many more nice things than bad. The bad does standout sometimes, though.)
Things that made me go hmmm??
1. Autistic kids just need more hugs. They love to be squished. (Kate seeks pressure, but come on!)
2. Autistic kids are really good at puzzles.
3. If you feed them dairy they'll become more autistic.
4. I heard you can cure it...if you stop feeding them carbs.
5. What can she do? Like, what is her special thing?
6. At least she can talk.
7. She doesn't look autistic.
8. Did you know Jenny McCarthy cured her son?
9. She looks normal to me?
10. Have you heard of Temple Grandin? Carly Fleishman? 'The Spark'? The guy who can draw an entire city from memory? ((All facinating people and I adore the stories but I do get these comments twice weekly :))
Things that made me sad:
1. Oh my God, I am so sorry. I know a woman whose kid still can't talk and he is like 22.
2. I heard Autism is caused by pregnant women breathing in exhaust from cars/eating feta cheese/feeling guilty about not breastfeeding etc. (There are too many of these to count)
3. Did you do anything strange when you were pregnant?
4. Will she always have it? Can they fix her?
5. I hope you still discipline her. Give me two weeks with her.
6. That is so overdiagnosed, it's ridiculous.
7. Really, 'cause Grace is so smart?
8. It's not called Autism, it's called mentally retarded. (<----Oh Yes, she did!)
9. Did you vacinate her?
10. I'm so sick of hearing this. I am autism'ed out.
Things that made me happy:
1. What can I do to help?
2. Is there something I can read that will help me understand? (Best response ever!)
3. Everything is going to be ok.
4. What does that mean?
5. How is Grace?
6. Kate is still the same Kate you walked in that office with.
7. Can you help me understand what that means for Kate?
8. Let's talk or not talk, but either way let's drink.
9. I think I love her more, if that's possible.
10. Holy shit, really? Well, let's do this.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)