Sunday, August 24, 2008

Through the Grapevine

Goodwill puts out “a monthly publication for employees of Goodwill industries of Columbia Willamette” titled the Goodwill Grapevine. Back in June my nephew’s case manager there asked me if it was ok to do an article about him. I was a little bit hesitant because I didn’t want him portrayed in any kind of negative light. She assured me that wouldn’t be the case, and said she’d do a story for the August edition.

He came over for Sunday dinner today and brought a copy of the newsletter with him. There’s a picture of him on the cover which is very cool. However; the back page is where his “story” is told, and I think it sucks. I don’t know who wrote this piece of trash, but they ought to be hung by the toes.

It starts out by saying; “The myriad of workplace sounds confuse him”. They don’t know that. He may have been confused because the situation was new. It goes on to say “The fast and efficient movements of employees make him anxious”. How can they write that? He certainly has never told anyone that. As I read I’m picking up on a vibe that they’re trying to make his disability look much worse than it is. Next they go on to say he “suffers from autism, a severe brain disorder”. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing he suffers from are the fools who wrote this drivel. “Some autistic individuals even feel terrible pain when they hear certain sounds. And sometimes the disease forces individuals to withdraw into their own world to avoid dealing with the sounds of the real world”. That may be true for some people with autism, but it’s not Joseph’s m.o. by a long shot. And...somebody needs to tell the writer that autism is NOT A DISEASE.

The next paragraph starts out by saying “Yet, somehow Joseph found the courage to move beyond his disorder”. Is this hyped-up fluff, or what? Courage? He’s as autistic now as he was when he started at Goodwill. He likes being autistic. I like his autism. The writer of this article ought to go back to school to gain an understanding of what disability is and isn’t. That’s the biggest reason he's bustin’ out of Goodwill.

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