Saturday, July 19, 2008

one of my worst fears....

...has come true. you can read it (or hear it) here

As the week went on at vacation Bible school, things calmed down and i was able to have some wonderful conversations about our struggle with Daniel. The majority of the conversations were with people that I haven't had a lot of time to talk with lately and some didn't even realize the struggles we had been dealing with. The subject came up a lot because Daniel was there. I had to tell the adults that were around him to watch for seizures (we have to keep a record of them now). And because I happened to be in charge of his age group, I had to do a lot of working around his issues....And of course, there was the whole he is in a different setting and he is an escape artist thing.

But one question kept coming up over and over that I didn't know how to answer. Since I was with my church family, and knowing what a wonderful and loving family we have, I should have known i would get this question a lot. The jist of the question was, "how are you dealing with this?".

I have an answer now. I was fine until I read that aritcle about Michael Savage. I am not fine anymore. What he said makes me want to throw up. And I am not kidding. I don't even know who this guy is, and I feel so deeply hurt and devastated. Every day, even with my sweet church family, I am battling misconceptions and funny looks from others. I even got a "who is that kid" when I was wrestling with Daniel this week. I know all about the 'who is that kid' statement. It means, 'surely this is a visitor or there is some other logical explanation for this child's behavior'. I guess it should be an encouragement that the person was shocked that it was my son.

I don't know what I think about vaccines, or genetics, or ABA or any of that stuff. I am still trying to convince myself that my son has autism and battle the stereotypes and misconceptions that come with it. I admire those autism moms and dads and advocates that are blogging and on the warpath against the things that they think caused their child's autism or for the things they think will help. I am just not one of those parents...or not yet anyway.

But I will be damned if I sit back and let someone actually say these things and not speak out. And what makes me so sad is that there are so many uproars about things that are politically incorrect that i am sure many will read this as me just being too sensitive.

You know, a very good friend asked me if the reason insurance wouldn't cover Daniel's therapy was because people were 'using' autism to get their kids 'extra help'. I was so confused by that question. How would that even be possible, I wondered? I could not understand what in the world he was getting at. (Of course, he was not in ANY WAY suggesting that we were doing that...he was just wondering if there were other people who were doing that and making things difficult for us). My first thought was, 'well good luck to the person who can get an official diagnosis without spending a fortune'. It wouldn't be worth the money to do that just to get the miniscule amount of help you get in return for your diagnosis from the state, insurance company, etc. I am appreciative or our help, and I don't count it as 'owed' to me. Nevertheless, the person who told their child to 'fake' autism to get a diagnosis to get 'extra' help or therapy would give up pretty quickly. And if they didn't, they would soon regret their decision when they finally got their diagnosis and actually saw what good it did them. This is just a tiny part of what I could say to prove how ridiculous Michael Savage is.

I guess all of this comes down to the fact that it is not what Michael Savage thinks that makes me sick. It is the fact that he is voicing what I know so many people(and probably even people I am friends with) think. I know that it ultimately doesn't matter at all what people think. But it sure would make my life infinitely easier to go back in time and never hear that there are people who think that way about parents with children with autism.