A post ran in the Autism Examiner run by Robin Hauser Morris last August. Ms. Morris asked, "Do you think the 'Autism Area' street sign is a good idea or not?" It's a simple question and a valid one. We think the sign is a very good idea for those families who want it. And that given the autism rates, families facing murder and suicide, young adults aging out to no services, adults struggling to find and keep gainful employment, America's neighborhoods should look something like this:
Click the photo to enlarge and tell us in the comments if you can read Adriana's message in the flames.
Read the full post at the Examiner.
Should autistic child in neighborhood street signs be posted?
Responses to Neighbors' cruel discrimination against autistic child are unanimous. Outrage and anger are familiar terms.
However, one parent (Pat B.) of an autistic child suggested that constructing a sign, warning autism in the area is another type of cruelty: " I'm really concerned that the sign the Trussele' will have in their neighborhood will only fuel the harassment for the little fellow... maybe they should reconsider the sign the awful label is cruel enough. It's kind of like having a Beware of Pitbull sign in your from yard... maybe the pit bull is a great family animal with no problems or history of violence, but the neighbors will only capitalize on the inferences and keep the fire burning."
It is a fair question. Should Autism Warning signs be posted in neighborhoods, or should the sign simply read Caution Children? Assigning labels to children is the toughest part of accepting autism. Once a diagnosis is procured, the paper trail ensues and parents do not want that label to preclude progress "After all, the child is autistic, they will not be able to succeed". A self fulfilling prophecy is an albatross.
The counterpoint to that argument, that in the right hands and creative services, autistic children can learn. (This is not about cure. It is about teaching and learning new information.) Assigning a label should protect children with autism.
There is also the consideration regarding self injurious and impulsive behaviors associated with autism. A warning sign in a neighborhood might just save a child's life. Considering the analogy of addressing the safety or hearing impaired children (Deaf Child in Area), drivers proceed with caution. Likewise, Autistic Child in Area signs when utilized appropriately, should protect, not harass.
What do you think?