By Dan Burns
It’s been a tough week, year, decade for ASD parents. Relentless attacks from all sides, including our own. Sticks and stones. Sometimes I give up. But then I don’t. Why? Consider the bigger picture …
1. Rimland-era hero Jill James is supported by Safeminds and – who da thunk it – The National Institutes of Health and the CDC.
2. Maybe U.S. Representative Bill Posey can’t pronounce “Thimerosal” but it don’t matter. He showed up at the hearing and stood up for parents like us. That’s courage, what it takes. Thank you Bill!
3. My 26-year-old pre-verbal son Ben is learning to spell.
4. The seas part. The Berlin Wall. Gay marriage. Surprise surprise! More partings to come.
5. Our dreams survive us. I may not live to see it, but Elon Musk’s new SpaceX Dragon V2 rocket can land anywhere, and he is going to Mars.
Need a lift? Here’s a true story. In 1952 celebrity Jane Froman, her body shattered in an airplane crash while entertaining WW II troops, commissioned and performed a song to offer hope and faith to Americans at home. I was eight years old. The flickering shadows on our family’s 9-inch TV, and Froman’s body language and celestial voice, moved me then and move me now.
The song is “I believe.” Here’s the premiere performance. Check it out.
Dan E. Burns, Ph.D., is the father of a 26-year-old son on the autism spectrum and the author of Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism. Through his dba, Appleseed Ventures, Dan empowers parents to organize vocational and residential communities where their adult ASD children and friends can live, work, play, and heal.