To summarize, the blogger, who happens to be a parent of a child on the spectrum, goes on to criticize the Ms. Wright's open letter regarding a call for action in Washington. There are many supporters who share the blogger’s opinion; I don’t. I have read and reread Mrs. Wright’s letter, over and over again, and it doesn’t offend me. My only advice to Mrs. Wright would be to avoid using the word “all” to categorize everyone under her blanketed assumptions. Instead, Ms. Wright should use the qualifiers many, numerous, or countless because there are others, like my son, who would be categorized as high-functioning and face challenges that aren’t as severe or dire as others on the spectrum like the letter portrayed.
This was my comment in response to the aforementioned blog post:
" This isn't the first time that I've read your posts and each time I do, I couldn't disagree more. Much like autism is a spectrum disorder so, too, are the ways in which each family experiences, copes, and forges ahead with their loved one in what is a lifelong disorder. While Ms. Wright did dramatize autism to garner sympathy, what she describes is true for many families. My journey with my 7 year-old on the spectrum is my own. And, yes, it often feels like purgatory. Your experience is different and I think you are the voice of the minority. Of course, our opinions as parents are going to vary from the population of adults on the spectrum who have a perspective all their own.
Autism Speaks was not alone in backing the vaccine link to autism. When the numbers of those affected was rising rapidly, looking for answers was a sign of desperation. Only in hindsight was it clear that looking to vaccines was a misguided theory. I am grateful that Autism Speaks brings attention to a disorder that is misunderstood. Many people only know about autism through Autism Speaks and I would rather have that awareness than nothing at all."
Life is too short to stay entangled in divisiveness and I won’t waste your time or mine counter-arguing every point in her post. What I’d rather point out is that bloggers, like Shannon Des Roches Rosa, who continue to perpetuate this divisiveness between those parents who see their child as a gift versus those parents who are continuing to struggle, are only creating a discourse that shames parents for not seeing their child through her rosy lens. And unlike the blogger, I will never categorize my child using the word “autism” before son or his first name because I see the soul of my son ahead of his disorder.
In contrast to the commenters spewing untruths that accuse me of blaming my son for his challenges and failing to see his potential, quite the opposite is true. And as I’ve always said, I think he’s one of the lucky ones on the spectrum in terms of his abilities. I never thought I’d be a special needs parent, a journey with just as many highs as lows. Are there days where I wish ‘IT’ would disappear? Yes. Are there days where I wish there were a cure? Absolutely. Do I love my son? Without question. That's all that really matters.