2 comments on “My Son is Not an Epidemic

  1. Fabulous, and spot-on, coming from another once-removed parental unit. My daughter is thriving today, to first glance: people wonder what’s the matter with us, but if they spent five minutes chatting with her they’d pick up on the idiosyncrasies.

    It’s not a disease, bullseye. Problem is, it’s still advertised as such, even by the well meaning. The anti-vaxxers as debaters, as adults detached from all circumstance, are close to a joke. But as parents… they see Ms. Hargitay on the TV, whose line has come down in the exact SAME ad, from 1 in 165, no now it’s 110, and finally (?) to 1 in 95. So my kid, without anything I can do about it, could have autism better than 1 in 100? Meanwhile, refusing a vaccine, that’s something a parent can DO, it’s an action, and the odds of anyone getting measles or whooping cough is in the same category as being struck by purple lightning. Twice. That’s not a tough choice to make, and we need to stop forcing frightened parents to make that choice.

    More autism resources, including seeing it as something other than a plague, would be a start. Right now those parents “know” it’s a disease, and more, a death sentence. We need to stop terrifying them and showing them people like our kids who get along and are doing alright.

    • As far as I’m aware, vaccines in the US are still a choice; no one is being *forced* to choose one way or another. But I do not believe we should tolerate, socially, the choice *not* to vaccinate just because it’s “something to do [or not do]”. And I find it ironic that “public health emergency” can be a rallying cry for folks who opt not to vaccinate.
      In any case, a better dialog and healthier perspective on Autism might be reachable by challenging the thinking that portrays it as a disease/death sentence–and that includes challenging the language. (Commence beating head against brick wall of social media discourse, amiright?)

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