Monday, April 14, 2008

Can I Get a Witness?

Ok, it's Autism Awareness Month. Many people from both the disability and general community are blogging about it. I have no problem with the idea of educating people around disability issues. That's one of the reasons I set up my own blog in the first place. It just seems to me that there isn't enough discussion about disability life.

However; in all the stuff I've read lately about autism in blogs, I've seen a statement over and over that really disturbs me. People keep saying that there are more cases of autism than diabetes, cancer, and AIDS combined. I swear I've seen this at least 20 different times since the beginning of April. Why does this bother me?

AUTISM IS NOT A DISEASE!!!
For God's sake, can't people find another way to get the point across that autism numbers are increasing without comparing it to life threatening diseases? It's like people saw this statement and decided it was a good idea to use it themselves. Why not say there are more cases of autism than all the apples in the orchard. Or there are more cases of autism than the stars you can see on a clear night.
Just had to get that off my chest...

2 comments:

Dickey45 said...

Because until recently there was literally no funding, no awareness, and frankly, no options other than poorly done special education. I've heard there is practically no adult services.

With diabetes, cancer, and AIDS you have: counseling, drugs, therapy, and insurance coverage. You MIGHT get speech therapy for a kid with autism UNTIL they turn 7. Otherwise nada, zip, nothing.

With some diseases, you can see the person has a disease. With autism, they think the person/child is weird or the parent did a bad job of parenting.

David McDonald said...

I agree with you that the service system people with autism live in is weak at best. It needs a total overhaul to provide for the people suposedly served, instead of providing for itself.

However; I believe as I stated that there are better ways to communicate the growth of autism than comparing it with diseases. We don't want new parents of autistic kids thinking their child is doomed, do we?