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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Writer/Curator/Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project. Contributing Author to Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood, and Concepts of Normality by Wendy Lawson, and soon to be published Gravity Pulls You In. Writing my own book. Lecturer on autism and the media and parenting. Current graduate student Critical Disability Studies and most importantly, mother of Adam -- a new and emerging writer.

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” -- Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Autism isn't the Opposite of Normal

This one is for Carol Motts of CFRB Radio who suggested that all parents of autistic children should make them as "normal" as possible, as if it is a parental duty, and for anyone who carelessly suggests that "Autism is a Living Nightmare." I can't imagine that any autistic person would have felt safe to participate in that phone-in discussion and as I tried to make my point on CFRB the other day about sharing, respect and value, the MOTTS hung up the phone on me. I was raising those points because The Motts were discussiong "good behaviour" of students in a precedeing program. Carol began to pontificate that the show of respect was marked by a student saying "please," "thank you," and delivering "eye-contact." I thought these were some good points to go on in discussing how to respect autism in the absence of those capabilities. (Note: I was also told that this wasn't going to be a phone-in and I was the only person being interviewed about The Joy of Autism: Redefining Abiltiy and Quality of Life event).

My next post will be about the responsibility of the media to recognize the polemic discussion of autism without creating more and more divides. It will be about the need to create safe envrionments and healthy dialogue where autistic people can participate with parents, as well as how parents can express the challenges of severe autism without making an autism spectacle that the media feeds upon, and at the peril of all our children.

When The Moon Come Up

Euthanasia Blues


Blogger Judi said...

I missed this program. I usually enjoy the Motts, so this is very disappointing to hear that they hung up on you and that Carol believes that I should make my son "normal"...what the heck is normal anyway.

I am sorry that I missed it because I would have liked to hear what you had to say. I was away on business last week during the event, but I am hoping to come out to the Lonsdale to see the art exhibit.

First time commenter on your blog here, just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying it. I only found the autism hub a few months ago and I am addicted!

10:09 AM  
Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

These two videos are amazing & thought-provoking! Thanks so much for posting them & keep up the good fight!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Fore Sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Those videos are potent. Thank you for sharing them. I, too, missed the radio message. I don't think I could stand to listen to it. Whenever "respect" and "consideration" becomes a one-way street, it's time for everyone to start watching their backs.

4:48 AM  

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