Today June 18th is Autistic Pride Day.
Two of my five children are on the Autism spectrum.
I was diagnosed with Aspergers four years ago at the age of 42.
I have spent the past five years campaigning against quack treatments.
I have given evidence in court regarding the toxic bleach product MMS and I will be a witness in another MMS case in a few weeks time.
I have two Sons on the Autism spectrum, D is 25 and V is 14.
They are wonderful young men and I am very proud of them.
Both of my Sons need support, they are both on the Autism spectrum but very different.
Their personalities and individuality plays a huge role in that difference.
Their challenges whilst similar affect each of them in different ways.
When I was diagnosed four years ago I believed that I would finally be able to understand myself better and hopefully be part of a community that accepts and supports.
The Neurodiversity movement sold that message to me and I decided to investigate it further.
The Neurodiversity movement is all about acceptance.
The Autism community displays a message of acceptance on social media but in reality my experience with the Autism community has not always been about acceptance, read about this here.
There are many social media pages and groups promoting acceptance but some of the groups are not allowing individuals the right to an opinion.
Rules and manifestos are created, telling Autistic people what should and should not be.
If you question these rules you are ostracised and removed from groups which claim to support you.
Parents of Autistic children are often shunned by Autistic adults because they sometimes choose to discuss the negative elements of Autism.
As a parent and being diagnosed I know that there are negative elements to Autism.
I have felt unable to discuss these negative elements in the past for fear of being shunned by the online Autism community.
Yes there are parents that say dreadful things about their Autistic children, anti vaccine parents and those who use dangerous quack treatments, these parents are not helping Autistic people.
However there are many good parents who should be allowed to discuss the challenges their children have without being met with aggression and hostility from Autistic adults.
Many of these Autistic adults don’t even have children.
I have witnessed this on social media.
Once I wrote a post about the challenges of Autism and I was attacked by so called accepting Autistic people.
Some Autistic people do not want to speak about Autism being a disability.
What is wrong with the word disabled?
I have no problem referring to Autism in that light.
I have seen Autistic people talk about Autism culture, Autism being depicted as a race, a religion.
There are many Autistic children and adults who are unable to live independent lives.
They will always need support, they have a disability.
Parents and carers are their lifeline and they should not be shunned by elitist groups who seem to ignore the disabling factors of an Autism diagnosis.
These parents and carers depend on supports from our governments.
To claim that Autism is not a disability will only lead to less supports for the families who desperately need them.
I am on the spectrum but I am not the same as my eldest Autistic Son.
My Son cannot do what I can do and needs assistance with nearly everything in his life.
Many Autistic people are against functioning labels but without labels my Sons would not be entitled to the few supports that they have today.
If we remove disability from Autism then the supports will disappear.
Having difficulties socialising, sensory issues etc is not the same as classic Autism.
My eldest Son was diagnosed with classic Autism.
As I get older I see my Sons challenges in a more negative light, yes I accept Autism but many of these challenges cause huge stress and upset to my Sons lives.
Do I like to see my Sons upset and stressed?
I worry for my Sons future, adults on the spectrum are still in need of supports but there is hardly anything out there.
Yes Autism brings many positive things to peoples lives but to say that we should celebrate the negative elements of Autism is ridiculous.
I want to be able to discuss all elements of Autism freely, I’m a parent to Autistic children and I am also on the spectrum.
I am against quackery and promote acceptance but I also want acceptance to speak about the difficulties raising Autistic children, the ongoing challenges that Autistic people experience.
Acceptance should be about the positive and the negative.
I am proud of my Autistic children but would I like it if life was easier for them?
Of course I would.
Autism is a complex condition and each Autistic person is unique.
We must be realistic and accurate when discussing Autism.
SUPPORT Autistic people, parents, carers and their families.
Do not divide and segregate.
Listen and respect each other.