Thursday, June 2, 2011

Autism is What He Has, Not Who He Is

By Lisa Dea

I'm sitting in my sixth lecture of the day at A1, it's 5:45, I'm tired and a bit cranky, looking for that last little gem of information that's going to make all the difference for my child, and then there it is, flashed up on the screen....that word. I hear it in the halls, snatches of conversation here and there, vendors tossing it around like candy, brilliant doctors using it carelessly, it makes my skin crawl...that word.

It's used by my neighbor, my child's teacher, the principle, his behavioral consultant, the store clerk, other parents of affected kids, doctors (both enlightened and otherwise), politicians and media outlets...that word. It makes me cringe. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. That word.

It's not a word that's used with malice or sarcasm, anger or condescension.

Its stated as a matter of fact, with clinical assessment, and with humor and kindness and love. That word.

That word which says my child has nothing else to offer but that word. It connotes, in one, simple, devastating sound that's who my child is and nothing more. That word...autistic.

Read Lisa Dea's article in the Age of Autism blog HERE.
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