Autism Should Not Be a Death Sentence: Kim Stagliano on Huffington Post
Please read the full post and comment over at Huffington Post. Thanks.
By Kim Stagliano
...I wish I could tell you that autism brings only love and joy and candy canes and OMG! Ponies! Sometimes it feels like that's all the media (and even some within the autism world) want to hear from those of us living day to day caring for a loved one(s) or even those with the diagnosis themselves. If only that were the full reality for families. It's not.
However, that doesn't mean autism is nothing but stress and challenges and tears. Not by a long shot. And it doesn't mean people with autism are doomed. Not even as adults.
Last weekend, the carnival came to my town. And I knew "he" would be there.
Bob who has autism, looks to be in his 40s, and rides the Scrambler from the moment the gates open until they close...
In looking at the positive side of this story about Bob, apparently he is at least independent enough to be at this carnival all by himself. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum (so to speak) it worries me that someone could take advantage of him, perhaps abusing him or harming him because he is there at the carnival all alone. It makes me sick that I have these thoughts but my fears are based in reality. Children and adults with autism are so vulnerable.
It makes me sad that there are so many distressing news stories about children being lost and harmed due to thier mental challenges, but it makes me happy that there are people like Kim out there who share their stories and feel so much compassion.
THANK YOU KIM....You are a wonderful mother and a great advocate for all of us.
Posted by: Autism Grandma | May 04, 2010 at 10:22 PM
Really beautiful, moving piece. You have a way of gently (or otherwise; you're well faceted) making people face the music. No small feat for such a daunting subject. Like a reality sherpa. :)
Posted by: Adriana | May 04, 2010 at 08:14 PM
Kim, thanks for sharing Bob with us again this year. It's honestly just too cool about the 20 something year old ticket taker knowing Bob's story; he would have been a little kid when Bob started going to the carnival. His attitude towards Bob convey's a message that the general public just doesn't seem to get... Bob's story has obviously been passed along with great compassion and tolerance, enough so that this young man embraces and respects Bob for who he is, and without judgment. It's a damn shame that this kind of respect, compasion, and tolerance have to be found at the carnival, yet this attitude is competely lacking with the general public, and (for the most part) in our classrooms across the country and around the globe.
I'm happy to hear that Bob was/is at the carnival enjoying his time, once again, on The Scrambler!!!
Posted by: Angela Warner | May 04, 2010 at 01:41 PM