I posted yesterday about my worries because of the autism association with the Newtown shooter. It was a rough day. It wasn’t just that one status update. It was several facebook pages that kept coming up. As soon as they’d crop up, someone would post them, then the rest of us would report them to get them taken down. One was called “Cure Asperger’s, Save Children From Psychokillers.” I sent him a message, and he wrote back (it’s just called “Facebook Page because the page was taken down):
It hurt. It hurts that people are SO adamant about curing autism when there is no cure, and that people don’t see how important it is for our children JUST to be accepted.
I am a part of an amazing group of writers who are connected to the autism world. Some have kids with autism. Some have autism themselves. Some have autism AND kids with autism. These people have taught me more about my son than I could have ever learned on my own.
Together we work to keep nasty facebook pages and hate speech as far from the public arena as we can. We advocate for our kids in schools, online and in society. We write. We make calls. We visit our legislators. And some days, we just feel like we are spinning our wheels. Yesterday was one of those days. I posted what this person had said to me on my status update. I was told to ignore him. That there are trolls everywhere. This is true. I can’t fight everyone on the internet. I don’t even want to. But these are people that are LOUDLY advocating for people to HARM my child (there was a page titled “Fifty likes and we set an Aspie (high functioning autistic) on fire.”
I was reminded that these people are the minority. That might be true as far as the really hateful people, but even within the autism community there is some backlash against us saying that autism does not equal planned violence.
I get that. My son was violent. He hurt me and his siblings. That kind of violence is COMPLETELY different from the kind of violence we saw in Newtown. Casey would lash out because he was overstimulated, frustrated, couldn’t communicate, and couldn’t calm down. He never MEANT to hurt me. He never PLANNED any of it. It’s just not the same.
Weary from fighting a battle that I was not winning I simply said, “Then what do we do?”