This piece would not be considered acceptable to publish by the mainstream media if the author’s son were not disabled, not autistic.
CNN please talk to some families that don’t view their autistic children as tragedies.Publicly maligning your child has become part of the autism parent conversation. The prejudicial attitude from “Paying for Finn” has no place in our world. Autism organizations that promote fear and cures have made this type of dialog acceptable. It is a social construct perpetuated by an organization that spends that spends very little on what it raises on services for autistic people. It would never be considered acceptable to write an article like this about a five year old who is not disabled, not autistic. You would not see an article published by the mainstream media, where the author talks about “a life in which both partners pursue their dreams, attend social events with our friends, and our daughter receives the sort of two-on-one attention that would be her lot if we hadn’t had Finn” .
CNN it is not acceptable and you are contributing to negative stereotypes and prejudice by running it. As long as it is ”acceptable” to publish articles like this, Finn and all of the other autistic children and adults and the millions that love them will continue reading about what a burden they are, that it’s okay to call them aliens, and to think about life if they hadn’t been born as being easier.
Talking about your child or anyone like this is not ok.
“His favorite foods include dirt and discarded water balloons. He spends hours a day in a headstand. He giggles maniacally at any expression of pain or distress. Recently I caught him shattering our water glasses on the patio. While I went for the broom, he dumped a quart of milk onto our kitchen floor. I tried to scold him, but he was already engrossed in one of his favorite hobbies: smelling his right foot.
What’s wrong with this child? There are a lot of ways to answer that question.”
Your child is a human being, not an alien. And despite what you may think he is capable of at the tender age of five, he could read what you have written about him one day if he hasn’t already. Would you really want that?
“Special-needs parents do share one thing: the eviscerating cost of our children. It’s one of the awful ironies of this unchosen life. Not only do we divorce more frequently and suffer from more mental health problems, but we pay dearly for the privilege.”
The divorce and mental health myth of raising a child with special needs has been refuted again and again.
“Others are harder to calculate. Finn mutilates toys, shreds books into confetti, shatters picture frames, and tears at our emotions in ways we can’t fathom. Is my budding rheumatism at age 42 a product of this long-term stress? Then there are the inevitable tensions between Alysia (who is also 42) and me, as we claw at each other for some small pocket of oxygen — a night out with friends, a few days of escape, a quiet place to work in an otherwise suffocating environment.”
What isn’t Finn responsible for? His father’s rheumatism and oxygen depletion..
It is so disturbing to hear him describe his son’s not walking until he was three and the fact that he had been put under anesthesia five times by the time he was three. The way the author puts it, it makes it sound like Finn’s disability is an inconvenience to his family.
To hear him describe his son’s diagnosis as tragedy, comparable to a fire, cancer..that his life was broken..is heartbreaking.
I stand with Ashley because she is part of our community, she is brave and she survived brutality.I stand with Ashley because I hope to show her, one day, that the joy of belonging to our caring community trumps the memories of pain.