As part of the “Wishing Away the Autism” debate, one of the posts I read argued that we show too much of a positive side of autism to the rest of the world, and that we need to share more of the horror stories, that we, the autism community do ourselves a disservice by showing the nicey-nice stuff because people are less likely to support funding for research and resources if autism “doesn’t look all that bad”…
Sounds like a sales pitch to me. I guess I just don’t have patience for anything less than the truth, which is why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly on this blog. So that others on a similar journey, or even one that is not similar in the least can share in my hope, commiserate with my frustration, and celebrate our milestones right along with us.
We are all people. When you focus on showing society that autistic children and adults are real people, you will have accomplished something. No one wants to be sold a bill of goods. No one wants to see one side of the story. So why would we, the autism community, even try to do that?
Write and share your experiences, take those photos and plaster them all over your facebook wall, and bring those kiddos with you everywhere you go. By doing so, you are showing that our little ones (and not-so-little ones) are a part of society, that they are human, that sometimes they need help, and that in many ways they are just like everyone else. THAT is advocacy. Participating in society, carving out a place for them, even where they don’t quite fit. THAT models for the rest of society how our kids should be treated, THAT will show them why we need funding for research and resources. THAT tells our own kiddos that they have a PLACE in our society, and THAT creates self-advocates, which is the name of the game.