By Kim Rossi
Every so often, I am reminded of why we publish Age of Autism. When Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill had the idea to start a blog around the concept of autism being a man-made epidemic, I had just begun a site called Rescue Post for JB Handley and Generation Rescue. We quickly merged, and I was delighted to join Dan and Mark on their mission to tell the world that autism is an epidemic with a hard, fast beginning, a middle (we're in it) and sadly, it seems, no ending.
When I look at the lightning fast, over-the-top response to COVID-19, I'm sickened. We HAVE the ability to make drastic changes to stop an epidemic. Even if we hate or disagree vehemently with the changes. The country CAN change its track on a dime. We HAVE the ability to change behavior the moment the population feels or is told to feel afraid. But no one seems to be afraid of autism. It has been whitewashed into a diagnosis that America now just accepts.
Take a look at the photo above. This is the car of an autism Mom whose teen son lashes out violently while she is driving. Take a good look at it. She used a dog barrier to create a safety cage, like a police car. For. Her. Son. He beats her when he rages. She showed me her arms. Her back. Black and blue. Scraped. If you saw the photos, you would weep. You should weep. She is not alone. That is what I had to tell her. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. But Lord in heaven, when we are in the throes of autism, behind closed doors, in our homes, our cars, we FEEL ALONE.
Sometimes our community goes very high level. The work seems to be more about changing the rate at which the planet spins than the daily grind we face. We focus on major issues that honestly, most of us have very little time to consider, because we are holding on by a thread at home. We've branched out into other health categories and the autism takes a back seat, because we are a third rail. It's painful when that happens. And it seems that the real reason we're together as a community is often forgotten. Many of us have children with autism who are now adults with autism. The behaviors that are tolerable at age five become terrible at 15 and torturous at 25.
This is the Aging of Autism.