Thursday, August 14, 2008

No WIRE Hangers!

And not because I work hard to buy those beautiful plastic jobs at Wal-Mart, but because they leave icky wrinkles on your pants...

I could not think of a better way to start off this blog than to bring up Mommy Dearest, aka Joan Crawford (played here by Faye Dunaway).

Why you may ask? Because years ago Autism was once blamed on Refrigerator Mothers (emotionally frigid) such as the mother portrayed here. Things have changed dramatically since then. Autism is now recognized as a neurological disorder by the world. And while the various causes remain controversial, it has been established that Mother's have nothing to do with it.

But I didn't just quote Mommy Dearest to focus on the past. There's a method to my madness.

Enter the 21st century. The increase of Autism Spectrum diagnoses is at an all time high. So are the instances of other neurological and mental health disorders. And well, in general, medicine is getting better at recognizing the signs. However, much of society in effort to ignore the issues, often likes to point blame back at good ol' Ma.

Recent public statements like that of a Radio Talkshow Host telling the public that most Autism cases are complete frauds - the kids just need a good old fashioned whipping, are what we hear. People like this get us all fired up. But folks, that's not the what we should be fired up about.

Better we should be concerned that this mentality is lurking behind closed (school, church, kids clubs) doors everywhere. And it lurks so silently that many of us don't know it exists until it's too late. It lurks at the administrative level at public schools. It lurks in the minds of church congregations. And it lurks right next door to you.

That truly is scary. Because ignorance breeds misinformation. And misinformation spreads so much faster than any good information ever could (just look at how fast Hollywood rumors propagate).

Parenting a child with special needs is no easy task. And while that in itself can be challenging, it's nowhere near as difficult as raising a child in a society who thinks that YOU (Ma and Pa both this time) are the only reason your child behaves differently.

Well, at least I'm no refrigerator mom...Now I'm just a plain old bad parent.

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