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No…not poor taste…I see it as a need to look at our children as a joy. I have three children with autism and they bring me so much joy and it is sad when parents can’t see beyond the challenges. It is up to us as parents to overcome the stigma that this label autism gives to our children. I believe that what is what this event seeks to FINALLY achieve. Thank god another parent of an autistic child has the guts to do this.Mary Ann from Toronto

Kassiane is correct.

Another fallacy in Gina’s argument is that it is either ABA or nothing. What about genuinely trying to understand your child and encouraging his/her real interests?

I’d refer Gina to the excellent advice from Michelle located at the bottom of this thread on Kev’s science forum.

http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15&p=3

The whole thread is a great read, but the particularly pertinent advice is the message from Michelle dated
09-02-2006 21:31:16

Finally, I’d ask Gina if she found joy in her child before he/she was diagnosed? Why does the diagnosis rob her of all joy?Jennifer from Ottawa

I saw your ad in Today’s Parent today, for “the Joy of Autism.” It made me feel sick. Autism in my family has brought me no joy, just extreme stress, unhappiness, and a collosal financial burden. Who finds joy in autism? Not my kids, nor me. The strangers who walk up to me in public to criticize my children do not seem to be enjoying it either. Maybe your objective is to increase acceptance, but my family found your advertisement in extremely poor taste.Stephanie Griffiths from Toronto

I’ve never known any autistic person who does nothing but sit in a room and rock back and forth. That stereotype is SO 1970s. Yeah, we all do it time to time, but I know non autistics who do it too.

Autism speaks promotes eugenics. People who want to anhiliate another kind of people generally can’t/won’t work well with them. We can’t even get any of the big trauma-drama groups to admit that autistic adults exist & have valid opinions.

So while autism everyday (that we chased kids around with cameras and told their parents to be as self pitying as possible) may have “spoken to” many parents, the part that spoke loudest to a whole lot of us came at the 8 minute mark. The driving over the bridge thing. The parents ignoring their children’s requests for attention and only accepting what was asked for.

Autism Everyday scares the hell out of me, but I shouldn’t be too worried…they don’t think I exist. Right?Kassiane from USA

I’m trying to figure out where the ‘cure’ talk comes from. Doesn’t ABA and other therapies help autistic children learn to cope and function? The negative comments surrounding “Autism Everyday” astound me. Everyone must be dealing with high functioning autistic children because it spoke to me. It’s a shame all the groups supporting autistic children, adults and families of these special people can’t work together. I’d hate for a parent of a newly diagnosed child on the spectrum to be influenced by the video I just watched here (which while uplifting..I find it hard to believe that having a ‘happy’ kid will allow him or her to learn basics if they are not on the high functioning end of the spectrum). Adam is not ‘sitting by himself in a room rocking back and forth’ because you are blessed that he is high functioning. Some parents can attempt to make their child happy but regardless…he will sit in a room and rock back and forth without appropriate interventions. I commend you for your efforts – I just hope that people see all sides.Gina from Ottawa, Canada

Estee, thank you for sharing the beautiful images of your lovely boy, and your stories, with us.Kristina Chew from Autismland.com

We just visited this site. Your video is beautiful, and gives hope to everyone. It is great to see the good results. Congratulations, and good luck in your wonderful work. Adam is such a gorgeous little boy, we wish him from the bottom of our hearts, the very best in his future.Biby and Alex Wexler from Toronto, Canada

I just saw your video on Autism Diva’s blog. WOW! It is beautiful. This journey of parenthood and autism can be so full of negativity, I am overjoyed to finally have this outlet where I can learn to help my daughter be comfortable & feel safe to be herself. I look forward to seeing your movement spread!! Thank you again!Sophia from New York

what I wanted to add to what was written there is that everything that you have said and all the things that the writers that were in institutions have said are true not only in relation to individuals with autism but also to ALL people with disabilities. In the past, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, (termed in the past as being mentally retarded) were placed in institutions without any hope for meaning or acceptance. Similarly, individuals with physical disabilities such as CP, were also treated in exactly the same way. kids with Down Syndrome, like my Mark, were placed in institutions and passed their lives without any meaning or purpose and without having any hope that someone will ?recognize? them as human beings full of feeling, wishes and hopes.

I know that your focus, and partially mine, is autism and that this is what THIS is all about. I just wanted to say that for me this whole thing of acceptance, love and joy is wider than autism. It is the acceptance of who we are and the way we are that is my focus. It is the love that we feel and it is the focus on what we can do rather than the gloom of what cannot be done that is my goal. At the same time it is also the understanding that there is diversity and that others might feel differently that I believe we need to take into consideration. I believe that we need to advocate for what WE believe in but maintain our openness to the fact that others might think, feel experience the same in a different fashion. (and I am not suggesting that you don?t). With education and with the work that we do, we can continue and promote the abilities and talents of all people who society judges as incapable and as a result marginalizes. From this point of view- inclusion to me means acceptance regardless of whether the child is in a regular school or in a special education treatment centre. As long as the child receives what he/she needs to actualize his potential and as long as he/she is treated with respect and with support, rather than being in the halls because he/she are disruptive to the other children in the class; the school the child is in is immaterial. What is important is that the child, or adult, will have the opportunity to fulfill his/her life the way the want it. our role in this matter, is to enable this to happen without projecting on the child our limited imagination or limited belief system.Nehama Baum, Ph.D. from Toronto

As the mother of 5 autistic children, we also would not change them. Who would they become if they were “cured”.
I feel sorry for the children who are going through all the heinous interventions so there parent’s can have “normal” children. How sad they must be to feel they don’t live up to their parent’s expectations of who they should be.

Our children amaze us every day. They are vital to our schools and community. They are loved by all that they touch.
I am so happy for this project.

Let me know how to help spread the word.Jeanette from Austin, TX

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