Imagine that who you were, the way you spoke, moved and behaved was seen as wrong and in need of fixing. Just try to imagine what that must be like. Try to imagine what it might be like to be autistic.
A year ago, I found Julia Bascom's blog, and it changed my life. Within the last year, Julia created the video "The Loud Hands Project." This video, together with Julia's blog, is mandatory viewing for any and all who are even remotely interested in autism or know someone on the spectrum.
Landon Bryce, teacher, writer, artist and animator, has written a terrific book about what it is to be autistic. His characters, each very different from one another, discuss their strengths and challenges while stressing self-respect.
Peyton Goddard and her mother, Dianne Goddard, wrote the book I Am Intelligent with Carol Cujec, Ph.D. It is a memoir: the story of a non-speaking autistic child thought to be severely "mentally retarded" who, as an adult at the age of 22, typed, "i am intlgent."
The message that both Times articles send to readers is that autism should be feared, fought against, and eradicated. That message can do nothing to improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of autistic people who are with us now.
The fact that Emma was able to communicate to Joe that she'd had a rough day is a massive leap forward for her. Secondly, that she was able to then make it known that what she now wanted to do was see me was nothing short of amazing.