Dear Polititians, policymakers, medical professionals and the like,
Wake up. Autism is an epidemic of disasterous proportions. It is a crisis we will not let you ignore. There is a powerful autism community rising up around you. We are an army; strong and motivated. Don't placate us with offers of outdated therapies meant to make us grateful. Fight with us. Demand answers. Know, that if you are not affected today, you will be someday. I hope you don't have to watch your own child miss milestone after milestone. I hope you don't have to wonder if your daughter will ever be independent let alone get married and have a family. I hope you don't have to wonder if your son will ever speak. I hope you don't have to wonder if he'll ever make eye contact or give you a hug. I hope you never lie awake at night wondering what will happen to your child after you die. I know those that promote neurodioversity would not be pleased with me calling autism an epidemic. Please know that you are in the minority. Fewer than ten percent of cases of ASD could be called aspergers before it was recently removed from the DSM-5. And even fewer than that could be considered so high functioning that they would have genius level IQ's. The vast majority of our children with ASD experience developmental delays that are devestating. I am not asking you to post something to your status for one hour or wear a t-shirt to raise awareness. These things are fine and meaninful in their way. I am asking you to be an active participant and help make changes to therapies, treatments, programs and attitudes. I am asking you to be angry and to get fired up and refuse to take no for answer. I am asking you to imagine for a minute that it was your child. Does the thought make you feel gutted? Now, wipe that thought away and breathe a sigh of relief and remember we can't do that. We don't have that luxury. Don't fail us.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)