More hate speech from Autism Speaks
"He's just not there, he's gone," Suzanne Wright said as she sat in her living room and gazed at a photograph of her 6-year-old grandson Christian.
The article (ack.net/Autism081607.html) was written to promote a fundraising walk on Nantucket this Saturday, August 25th. According to Ms. Wright, participating in Autism Speaks walks is the ideal family activity for the autistic community because "you can't take these children out to restaurants and movies."
Feh. Sounds like the Wrights never heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Every public establishment in the United States is required to serve autistic children by federal law, as well as whatever state and local laws against disability discrimination there may be.
Granted, some autistic kids get noisy and hyper if they have to sit and wait for their meal; but that is also true of many non-autistic kids, and that's why there are so many family-friendly restaurants with play yards, where the little ones can run around and shriek to their heart's content. It's not reasonable for a parent or grandparent to expect that a 6-year-old boy, of any neurology, will be perfectly quiet for an hour or more while eating dinner at an upscale steakhouse. (As a side note, I have an autistic brother who loved restaurants when he was a young child, was always impeccably behaved, and thought it was a great treat when he was allowed to go into the kitchen and compliment the chef.)
The way I see it, if you're a parent of an autistic child, you have a pretty stark choice when it comes to what kind of world you want. If you think it's normal to have a world where you can't take your child out to restaurants and movies because bigots will treat him like "he's just not there" and tell you to your face that they have a problem with his kind, then Autism Speaks is for you.
But if you want to change our society's prejudiced attitudes and to create a more understanding and accepting world for your child as he grows up, don't participate in those walks. Instead, support The Autism Acceptance Project (TAAP); there are many online retailers that will donate a percentage of your purchases to TAAP, at no cost to you, when you shop through the Give Back America website.
To put what's at stake here into even sharper focus, here's another quote from Suzanne Wright, in the same article, on the sort of future she envisions (presumably she is addressing today's non-autistic children, as she has consistently refused to acknowledge the fact that autistics are capable of marrying and raising families):
"This is an epidemic that has to be stopped," Wright said. "I don’t want you growing up, getting married and having a baby with autism."
We certainly do have an epidemic that has to be stopped—and it is Autism Speaks' epidemic of hateful propaganda and mass hysteria. Here are a few uncomfortable facts for you, Ms. Wright: You don't get to decide what sort of babies other people can have. Nobody appointed you the Holy Keeper of the One Pure Genome. There is a word for people like you who advocate exterminating minority groups, and it is a very ugly one.
Labels: Autism Speaks