(These three people are Autism. We are Autistic. We are not a tragedy as The founder of Autism Speaks says we are.)
I have a mixed view on vaccinations. There are a few vaccinations I believe in and a few vaccinations I strongly do not believe in. It depends on the vaccine, reason and propaganda behind it...But I do know ONE thing surrounding some vaccination beliefs that really bothers me. (Unfortunately, I have been guilty in the past of using this as an argument against vaccines.)
Some People believe vaccinations cause Autism. Whether true or untrue this belief creates fear OF Autistics. When my kids and I were first diagnosed I was upset at the shots because I thought they helped contribute to our state...but NOW (even if that is true which I highly doubt) I thank God for WHO we ARE. I LIKE being who I am, I LIKE being Autistic. It has it's share of hardships but so does being "normal" and I guess it bothers me that people live in fear… of being like ME... or my precious, beautiful children.
I am fine with the myriad of reasons to vaccinate or not vaccinate. But the Autistic argument is heartbreaking because even if it could be true (I'm not saying it is true, I'm not saying it isn't) ...why are we fearing this? Why do we think this purity of spirit is such a horrid thing? Yes, there are mean and cruel Autistics...it's rare considering population stats compared to how many mean and cruel "normal" people there are...but it does happen. We are all human after all. Yet, we focus on that and hear about these people and worry. Or we hear about the non verbal Autistics or those lacking in body control and we immediately think their life is horrid or not worth living. But if I have learned anything by reading all the posts from this Autistic Flash Blog, including posts from non verbal Autistics, it is that they still have a BRILLIANT, worthwhile, intelligent inner world...and computers are allowing that to be brought out. We live in an age where Autism is contributing to BETTER our human condition. Read about all the famous people who had Autism...the quality of our lives would be drastically different without them.
We fear Autism. That hurts me. It hurts my children. It hurts this kid who wants to be a Everythingologist or my friend Rae who advocates and writes so beautifully, or this mother of three beautiful children who begs us to stop dissecting her rainbows, or this Nuerotypical person ( normal) who sees our value or this lady who sees that being Autistic, like anything else, has positives and negatives.
Autism is looking at Life sideways. Autism is the "normal" brain and the autistic brain complimenting each other and becoming BEST BUDS. We are not hurt by Autism, we are hurt by how people treat Autism and expect us to fit into their mould. We don't need a cure for the way our brain works...we just need a more understanding world...and help for the physical problems that can SOMETIMES accompany our wiring. Like THIS MOM " I don't blame Autism. I blame sensory issues. I blame her need to be perfect and her dislike of being wrong. I blame her impatience. I blame the world for wanting her to fit in with everyone else, instead of accepting her for who she is. I blame other people's lack of understanding or compassion. I blame myself for forgetting to give her that 5 minute warning before we transition to something else." We don't want a cure because to cure us would be to exterminate who we are. "Keep your cures, we'll keep our brains." I happen to like the way my brain works on most days:) LOL.
Next time vaccinations are brought up, maybe reconsider using the Autistic argument to speak against vaccines? It feels to me that it only furthers discrimination...there are many other valid reasons not to vaccinate, but living in fear of a beautifully innocent people group maybe should not be one of them? You can decide. I trust your judgement.
Thank you for being a part of my advocacy. A part of making the world a more understanding place for my children and all of these beautiful people.
*To see more thoughts on Autism/ Aspieness click on the Autism/Asperger's label below...there are posts on Creating Autistic Safe Havens, Aspie motherhood, Feeling Younger While Getting Older, The Consequences of Growing an Aspie up to reality, Gender Bias in Psychology, Famous People speculated to Have Autism, Hurtful Misconceptions about Vaccinations, What Autism Means to Me, Guest Post from Samantha Croft on Aspie Communication, Disclosing Autism, Autism Positivity/ Autistic Healers Flashblog, Sensory Autism experiences at the Zoo, Autism DOES NOT cause Violence, Dealing with and Understanding Meltdowns Autistics Don't Need Your Awareness and Other Crucial Links Doesn't Everyone Have a Little Autism in them? (And other Wounding Statements Addressed), Musings on Solstice and Autism
*We may only be a small voice in our world, but it is important to use our voices when we can to speak up for the rights of our future, our kids and to help others realize that we do not want to be "cured":