Thursday, April 02, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. The optimist in me thinks this is great - the more people who understand what Autism is, the suffering it causes for the families and individuals afflicted with this devastating disorder, the better. The pessimist in feels like screaming "Eff You" to every elected official and bureaucrat who blocks funding for Autism therapy, pushes paper around instead of truly addressing the fact that our children are being denied the treatment they need to be healed, and acts like they give a damn and congratulates themselves for "fixing the problem" of shortening wait lists, when in actuality all they are doing is pitting parents of Autistic children against each other by booting kids who desperately need IBI therapy out of provincially funded programs so that kids who have been waiting for 3+ years can receive IBI therapy (until they too are booted out for progressing too much or too little). Holy run on sentence, but sweet jesus, I needed to get that off my chest.

EVERY DAY is World Autism Awareness Day in my house. Every, Freakin', Day. Not a morning goes by that I am not rudely reminded that my son is not normal. Today he woke up, and slid down the stairs on his belly instead of walking (a new behaviour). He screams and throws himself on the floor when his baby sister makes any sort of a sound (I can't wait until she really starts talking...that will be good times), and he acts like I'm trying to kill him when I brush his teeth. And that was all before 9am. So, excuse me if I don't get all excited about today. Today I will be pissed off and grumpy. I will bite your head off if you tell me that Jenny McCarthy says that if I take my Autistic child off of wheat and dairy products, he will be cured. My god - if it were that easy, don't you think that every parent of an Autistic child would change their diets in the blink of an eye? The media only tells one side of Jenny McCarthy's story - the sexy/easy solution. They don't talk about the thousands of hours of ABA therapy her son has received, and how hard she has worked to "heal" him from Autism.

What I would like to direct you towards is a pretty cool story about a 13-year-old Autistic girl named Carly Fleischman. Carly is completely non-verbal, but is able to communicate quite articulately by spelling out her thoughts on a computer. You can follow her on twitter, and she has been featured on both CTV and ABC if you want to read about her inspiring story. Most importantly, I hope you will go sign her petition to get her onto the Larry King show. While I think he is a horrible interviewer, there is no denying that her being on his show will certainly help the cause of Autism as a whole.

So, for what it's worth, Happy World Autism Awareness Day from the Carefoot family.


  1. Carolyn8:59 p.m.

    Thought this article would interest you, especially in regards to th IBI funding.

  2. I am familiar with that story. While I'm glad that their funding got reinstated, there are so many other kids out there in the same boat. The whole system needs an overall and these politicians need a good shake.

  3. I was thinking of you yesterday!
    Hugs your way --and a nice glass of red wine! :)

  4. Although I applaud Jenny McCarthy for getting out there and doing something about autism, I agree with you that special diets don't work for every child and that parents need to know this. I think Jenny does make this point, but the media prefer to focus on vaccinations and how diet healed her son.
    I hadn't come across Carly Fleischman so I'll definitely read up about her. u