Autism In Northern Ireland: We Can't Close Our Eyes and Make It Go Away
Would Kids With Autism Survive A Shooter?

Fractured Fairytales

Fractured fairy talesAfter I wrote this post, the news broke about 18 year old Salvador Ramos, who killed in cold blood 19 elementary school students and 2 adults in Uvalde, Texas. I am in no way equating the agony of having your child murdered in school with having a child with autism. I am going to point out that systems everywhere are broken beyond repair. And failing children right into adulthood. Those who make it. We have a generation that literally has the WORLD in their palm of their hand, and yet are so very alone. Angry. Vindictive. Without coping skills. We say it's a gun issue. We say it's a mental health issue. It seems like a radically altered childhood issue. And no one wants to talk about it. What the hell has happened to our kids? 

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Those readers of a certain age will remember the Fractured Fairy Tales cartoons that aired during Bullwinkle. Today's post is about the fracturing within our community. Ignored. Disregarded. Glossed over. Not here.

Many of our readers are drowning in ever deeper waters as their children head into adulthood. There are few supports once school lets out. Day programs are turning down autistic individuals with high levels of need.  Jobs are grim for those who qualify for viable employment with or without supports.  Medical freedom and Covid have eclipsed autism everywhere - even within organizations that were founded by warrior families. Biomedical treatment is a distant memory. Spelling has become the new darling.  New reports of beautiful Elizabeth Bonker, who was Valedictorian for her college class, they mention, "She lost her speech at 15 months," but none asked WHY??? It's as if they said, "She got glasses in 3rd grade." Perfectly normal. Spelling is wonderful, I've seen my own daughters intelligence shine through. I am a big fan.  Then reality steps in. I just saw a spelling training program that sounds fantastic. 8 weeks of intensive training with support. $1000 per trainee. I need 4 or 5 trainees at least. I can't be the only "voice" for my 3 daughters. I need others to be able to train and learn, but at $1000 each? Even if I train them. Staff quits. What then?  I have been my daughters’  trainer for more than 25 years. And with spelling's success and marketing, there’s yet another documentary, and an invitation to fly to the Midwest to view it. I  have a hard time getting to the Stop and Shop up the street. It's enough. If I sound like I'm complaining, I am. I'm angry that after 2+ decades of work, 15 years of Age of Autism, nothing much has changed for families. Young Moms who are able to get into a diagnosis center leave with exactly what most of us got years go. NOTHING. No road map. No plan. Just "Call early intervention and find yourself 30 hours of ABA a week. Good luck, call us in a year." Students in school get speech and OT that are all but useless even after 18 years. Assistive Technology flopped, it's completely hit or miss who can use it, program it, buy an iPad every few months to replace the one thrown across the room and shattered. It's disheartening in the extreme. Yesterday, I saw a post that only hardened my heart. A dear friend of our community, a PhD with autism who was active at Autism One and other conferences, wrote

"Reporting from London as XXX and I gear up to explore literature and research findings that support shifting to strength-based views of autistic people. We shall examine US and UK current models through a strength-based lens as we review advances in health, education, media and advocacy. What ideas do you have to shift from thinking of autism in terms of deficit, disability, and disorder toward abilities and strengths?"

My daughters will never travel to London. Lord, give me a "strength based view," to keep going.  If you still love what we do at AofA - Anne, John, Cathy and I - we are AofA - please consider a donation to keep us going. 

And to families in Uvalde, and in every city from coast to coast that has had a shooting, I'm sorry we've let our kids sink into this fractured fairy tale called the USA.

Thanks.

Kim

Comments

Maurine Meleck

I think Bill missed the point of Kim's piece. If people choose to do drugs, do they not choose to take a gun and kill people? The important question is not that they choose to do either or not, but why they choose to do it.
And to "Still with Trump"
Drugs in the U.S. are imported from many more places than across the border. For many years the US itself imported(and maybe still does) heroin from Afghanistan. It's a thriving U.S. business for years and not just a "Mexican problem" or a border problem.
Maurine

Julie

Annie, whenever I am approached or pass charity workers trying to collect donations for various charities, I always respond with, " Oh sorry, I'd love to but I give all my donations to people who have been injured by vaccines." That never fails to get a quick change from a smile and nod to a doubletake. I find it a useful exercise to wakeup a few more people. If the conversation continues, I add that there are no charities for them or their families.

annie

Haven’t seen the Jon Stewart hosted autism benefit in a couple of years. The last one I recall had an odd scene with Robert De Niro post the Thompson revelations. I keep fantasizing about a benefit event for the vaccine injured with families living with severe autism topping the list of recipients. Can you imagine how unglued the POB would become if (say) Joe Rogan, Jimmy Dore, Tim Dillon, JP Sears and other willing participants pooled their collective audiences and put together a benefit and actually billed it as *for* the vaccine injured?! In cartoon world steam would shoot out of Peter Hotezs’ ears and his bow tie would spin indefinitely.

Morag Lyons

Dear Bill I hear what you are thinking and saying ok .
It is a mind emplosion situation ,a humanitarion brain explosion ! gone totally ape shit ?
We do not have pistols revolvers or guns kicking around the streets in UK .
Knives knucle dusters machetties and goodness knows what else from the kitchen cupboard larder of potentially potential "Chibbs !"
we started seeing kids mid 1980's onwards with solvent abuse starting with glue and crisp packets for extra inhalation kicks ,they then moved onto kitchen bin bags over their whole heads with sniffing
Glue ,lighter fluid ,furniture polish petrol diesil hairspray , felt tip pens ?
We can recover a lot of these lost kids , Last chance Cafe . offering better hobbies / Hillwalking Climbing , Speedboats ,camping and cooking outdoors . Restoring Kids own self respect who have had their self respect demolished for some reason?

Matt McGinn Frankie Vaughn YouTube

Bill

The difference between the drugs and gun violence is that most if not almost all people who choose to do drugs choose to do drugs gun violence is random and kills more than one person. I am a little angry at Age of Autism for the irrelevant comparison

Anne Dachel

Somehow we're all just supposed to accept/accommodate/celebrate ever more kids with autism, no questions asked.

This is a population that will bankrupt world economies. No society can thrive with an ever-increasing dependent population.

Children today enter a dangerous and callous world. More voices need to join with Kim.

Angus Files

What would happen if a needle was used instead of a gun?

Step in Dr Cover up.

Every child death is tragic, especially so when they are young and healthy.

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

Maurine Meleck

Thank you, Kim, for this post, so sad but beautifully expressed. I can tell you how things have changed with autism. When Joshua was diagnosed with autism in 2000, the school system didn't control therapy, but the state dept of disabilities did. He had 40 hours of ABA a week with a leader and 4 therapists that alternated time. He had speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy at a local hospital and everything was paid for by the state.
Then when the numbers of children diagnosed with autism began in increase regularly-2 years later-all the control was put into the hands of the school systems. That's when help began to fall off. I guess, in a sense, one could say he was lucky, but on the other hand, an autism diagnosis is never lucky.
Maurine

Still with Trump

So very sad for those parents in Texas. What would happen if a needle was used instead of a gun?

I believe we are still at about 160 new cases of Autism every day and about 10 SIDS deaths every day around the nation. Certainly no media coverage of those issues. Cowards and terrorists like soft targets who cannot defend themselves.

2000 young overdose deaths every week from the drugs coming across the Texas border.

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