If you haven't signed it yet...


Click here to get background information regarding this horrible Ad Campaign. Rescue Me: The NYU Child Study Center’s Ransom Notes Ad Campaign is one of many post regarding this issue and includes many links to other people's point of views as well. This is NOT just for Autism but for other disorders that affect someone you know even if you don't know that you do because so many are hidden.

I wanted to include a special link to Maternal Instincts...Flying By the Seat of My Pants: In the Blink of An Eye, because I've been wanting to blog about this for sometime but couldn't really get my thoughts together about it with the crazy busy week, and Niksmom tends to always give me perspective when I read her posts and watch her videos of the love and joy and triumph in her family. Down days are obvious and inevitable with any disorder (much more with multiple issues). Shoot, down days are inevitable period! You don't have to add neurological differences to expect that! But what the public doesn't see are the daily victories we as the parents see in every moment.

Today The Elder accidentally slammed the front door on his brother's finger. I heard The Younger scream (you know the one - the "I'm not kidding, I'm really in terrible pain" scream) and when I got to the door, The Elder was holding him. He didn't know what to say, but he knew what to do. He had a neutral look on his face and when I asked what had happened, The Elder said matter of factly,

"I just cwosed the door on brother's hand."
"Did you say you were sorry?"
"No, I just hug him."
"That was perfect and I bet you made him feel better." (as The Younger was screaming his head off)

If you don't have a child with autism, maybe the matter-of-fact, unfeeling, robotic tone of voice may not be good enough. Maybe he must apologize and "mean it" before it is acceptable. If you have a child who has autism, you know what a big deal that is. How many times before today did he hurt his brother and not even acknowledge it? Maybe he would just walk or run away ranting "di di di di di" or plugging his ears at the sound of the screams and then hit The Younger over and over again because it was hurting his ears and hitting was the only way he thought he could get him to stop crying.

He is amazing. He has to learn how to act and how to feel where others have instinct and intuition for that. He has to memorize consequences for his actions where others have common sense for that. He is more polite than a lot of "typical" 4 year olds I know, and once you get it into his routine, he is more consistent and accurate than a lot of "typical" adults I know. He appears to be "normal" when he has his "game on" because he is being trained now to do and know the things through "early intervention" that other parents take for granted that their children will just learn one day, which maybe they will or maybe they won't.

But if your child doesn't receive "early intervention" does that mean these Ransom Notes are fingered at you to get your child out of bondage? No! These Ransom Notes drive a wedge between the child and the rest of the world. They scream out to the child "You are different and you need help and you need help now or you will be helpless because it is only going to get worse." That is what I feel like they say. What kind of awareness are they trying to spread? Are we really in a minority, especially when you consider the loved ones who have "second hand autism/adhd/depression/etc." Do our families need to be fixed or do others need to be more tolerant/accepting/respectful? The Hub is 36 years old and found out 2 months ago that he is autistic. Does that make him *poof* a victim? Was he robbed of a glorious life because he is autistic? No! He has two beautiful children and a good education and job (and me, of course) - a good life. No he's not a victim...he's a VICTOR, and so is The Elder and so is YOUR CHILD. They work harder on a daily basis to merely exist in this world of normal expectations than us "lazy" neurotypicals who can do it naturally.

For the people behind this campaign who might think our life with autism is so horrible and unfulfilling, I beg to differ. I gush with pride when The Elder says, "I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to Daddy" (even if he is just asking to turn on the radio), when he eats everything on his plate, when he uses a fork or spoon, when he sleeps with socks on his hands because he has a hangnail, when he gets dressed/undressed by himself, when he doesn't cover his ears in the public bathrooms, when he poops, when he names all of the Thomas trains and accessories, when he corrects me ("Mommy, you missed the turn."), when he pretends to be "Dog #2," when he pretends "incorrectly" (serving me pretend food/drink by covering my mouth as if to kidnap me), when he touches something gooey, when I say OW and he said, "Are you OK, Mommy?" all the while never moving his gaze away from the computer, I get teary when I hear "I love you" even if its one of the scripts. This might sound like an ordinary life to them, but to us, it is extraordinary!

8 Responses to "If you haven't signed it yet..."

Niksmom (visit their site)

Yes! Yes! Yes! You have so much to love and be proud of in BOTH your boys! Wow, the hug after slamming the finger in the door...not many "typical" kids would even do that! Extraordinary.

And thank you so much for the link-love! I am honored that you find my posts give you perspective. That is very high praise indeed.

Sustenance Scout (visit their site)

Jen, I learned about this from Kristen via email last week. Thanks for posting so I can refer to your post for all the details when I finally write my post on this, if that makes any sense! I signed the petition and hope many others do, too. WHAT were they thinking? K.

kristina (visit their site)

The "door story" says it all---every small victory adds up to amazing triumph. Whenever someone says of Charlie "must be having an off day," I often say, "well, who doesn't have a bad day every once in a while?". Thanks for sharing an extraordinary moment!

Susan (visit their site)

I think this is a beautiful post. The amount of love that you have for this child reads crystal clear. You are a proud mom and deservedly so! The way he hugged his little brother was so touching. Awwww!

Elissa - Managing Autism (visit their site)

Beautifully said Jenn... You have portrayed the thoughts and feelings of so many people and families.

And thank you for sharing the petition!!!

Sustenance Scout (visit their site)

I just put up my post on this. Thanks for all the great links, Jen. K.

Club 166 (visit their site)

I just realized that the NYU campaign might have a small silver lining. I am finding many new great blogs (like yours) from following links of people expressing outrage at them.

Joe

Anonymous (visit their site)

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