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>A K and K Duet: Now What?

March 29, 2010

>Kim (KWombles):

Parents across the autism community have rallied around to share their hurt and their disappointment over a blogger mocking a little girl who appeared to have autism. We’ve shared our own stories of those looks, our fears for our children, our need to work harder to help the public at large (and at times our own familes) to understand, accept, and appreciate our children.

But what do we do now? Do we go on inundating a blogger who has turned her back to us, told us our feelings and our children’s feelings don’t matter since she was only being funny? Or do we harness this to tell our own stories, both those that hurt, that cut to the bone, and those that warm our souls and give us hope? Do we share what our children really need and how those we encounter can help provide it?

Do we move beyond the internet community and blogging, begin writing letters to our newspaper editors, talking to parents when we pick up our kids at school, talking to our children’s classes? What do we do if we’ve done that and are still met with rejection for our children? How do we make the world change? What’s the best way to get things to change for the better?

Kathleen (have you read her excellent blog? says Kim):
It is what we do now that interests me the most.  It is easy to take an incident like this personally, easy to write a blog post defending your child, your experience. It is easy when we relate it to ourselves.  But what of the many other issues that surround disability? That surround basic human rights of everyone.  We need to take stock and band together on those issues as well.  The aforementioned blogger is just one person. Sadly, I believe that her behavior is representative of many. So where do we begin?  And more importantly-how?
  There are just too many groups. We are scattered all over the internet. There are many of us that have limited time and or access to the internet. So where does one look? There are groups for acceptance, for education, for inclusion…groups to help individuals with legal issues, health issues, issues in general.  All are important. So I am asking anyone who is part of such a group to please post your information on our forum.  The fact that so many bloggers could come together to counter that outrageous post gives me great hope. I think that there is much we can do to change perceptions- working together towards inclusion and acceptance. What are your ideas?  
Kathleen’s right; there are more places out there on the interwebz than we can possibly all look at or be aware of. We need to work to create a network of our blogs and forums and various sites so that if you find one of us, you can find all of us who are advocating for acceptance, accommodation, and assistance for those on the spectrum (and with other neurological and physical differences and impairments) and for their families and friends.
We made a powerful noise this past week, and we should work to build on it so that together we can effect real boots-on-the-ground change that makes our children’s and our lives more rich, more rewarding, more supported.
So, if your blogroll is a little thin, add to it as you run across good blogs. If you come across a really good resource, add it to Infinite Diversity. Check out Autism Awareness and Acceptance if you want to share a really good blog post or webpage and make notes on it.
Tell your friends in your local communities about online resources and networking possibilities through friending autistic individuals and family members on facebook. Some of our best support and our best ideas come through twitter and facebook, believe it or not, and not through the the groups, but through reaching out and friending people.
Autism Awareness shouldn’t be once a month. And for all of us in the community, either on the spectrum, teetering at its edge or loving someone on it, it is interwoven into the fabric of our lives. And reaching out to others to show our support, to provide assistance, to offer compassion and acceptance ought to be like breathing.

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