Oh, son, I am so, so sorry…

Berns Goes to WashingtonFrom the press release announcing the passage of the “Combating Autism Act”:

“This bill is a federal declaration of war on the epidemic of autism,” said Jon Shestack, co-founder of Cure Autism Now. “It creates a congressionally mandated road map for a federal assault on autism, including requirements for strategic planning, budget transparency, Congressional oversight, and a substantial role for parents of children with autism in the federal decision-making process.”

“By passing this landmark single-disease legislation, the House has recognized the daily plight of the thousands of families struggling every day with autism, and has once and for all acknowledged autism as a national healthcare crisis,” said Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks and chairman and CEO of NBC Universal.


The name of the act alone sent me into a rage but this???

“war on the epidemic of autism”????

“assault on autism”????

“daily plight”????

“families struggling”????

“once and for all acknowledged autism as a national healthcare crisis”????

All of this packed into TWO sentences!!! Oh. My. GOD!!!

And this stuff was said by family members of children with autism… not professionals or lobbyists.

These people are declaring war on my son!!! And their own children… they just don’t get it, do they??


I just want to go on the record saying that while I am all for finding accommodations that help folks participate in the world, offering medical treatment to those who need it, finding new ways to teach folks, and the like–I am *not* cool with using the same language we apply to terrorists and drug lords for legislation regarding our children!

Since when do we wage war on children?

It is not okay to forget that my children are just that–children.

The language we use is important! How often do children with diagnoses hear that there is “something wrong with them”?? How many times can they hear that without believing it?

Unfortunately, other people believe it, too. So, for the record, there is nothing “wrong” with my children. They are not the cause of some “daily plight” in my life. We get along just fine, thankyouverymuch.

I know that there are plenty of folks ready to heap ashes on my head for thinking this way. They will point to their children and say, “Look at my child! He bangs his head! He drools! He spreads poop on the walls! He has behaviors! You just don’t understand!!”

I do understand. I have seen it all. I have lived it all. And still I refuse to blame my children and lay the burden of my lack of happiness at their feet. I will not “wage war” on them. I will love them and care for them and fight for them and educate them and tell them over and over that they are awesome.

And I will declare war on anyone who suggests I do otherwise.

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