Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: Why We Fear for Your Kids

This is another guest post from the always insightful & delightful Gen Eric:
Okay, so those of you who have read my previous guest post know my “don't hate parents for being parents” credentials. I want you to keep that in mind for the rest of this post, because I'm going to say things some of you don't want to hear. And it will be all too tempting for some of you to play the “just hate parents” card.

No, I don't hate you for being parents. I don't believe that having an Autistic child makes someone automatically abusive, but there's sure one hell of a correlation. Far too many parents of Autistics develop a damn strong sense of entitlement. They feel robbed of the child they were entitled to, and so they feel entitled to wallow in self pity, treat their child like a burden (and encourage the child to feel like one), talk about their child in front of them like one would a piece of furniture, abuse them emotionally and/or abuse them physically and/or abuse them in other ways. For all that, they then feel entitled to a crown of sainthood. For some parents out there, here is why we fear for your kids.

Whenever an Autistic person is murdered by a parent or caregiver (and seriously is it possible to keep count? I doubt it!) the “autism parent” community comes together to express their sympathy and sorrow, for the murderer. You can see it in the comments section of any associated news story. You can see it in the official comments of any “respectable” (meaning no Autistics allowed) autism organization. A lack of services is blamed. The killer is regarded as a good person pushed over the edge. Some of you don't shy away from saying that “every parent of a child with autism feels that way sometimes.” Someone really needs to call social services on every “autism parent” who's ever said that. We need to start a registry on people like you, so your neighbors can be warned of what kind of scum they live near.

Yes the lack of services is atrocious, and the services typically fund the wrong things (behavioral interventions rather than communication and self advocacy), but having someone else harm us to draw attention to our needs is no better than needing to harm ourselves to draw attention to our needs.

Many of you openly talk about how you wish you had a “normal,” acceptable child. What you're really saying, as Jim Sinclair told you nearly 20 years ago, is that you wish the child you have didn't exist; you wish a “stranger you could love,” would “move in” behind your child's eyes. You also don't feel the least bit guilty about expressing this wish in front of your child, letting them know just how unwanted they are (and don't even try to mince words about this matter). I started feeling guilty for existing before I was eight years old; at thirty, maybe someday it'll go away. Have you checked our suicide rate lately? In case you were curious, it's through the roof, and this is where it begins.

Some of you go even further than that. You all know what this blog owner has experienced at the hands of “loving and devoted” parents; and no, it's far from uncommon for a parent to treat their Autistic child as a release valve for all their own anger and frustration. Some of you claim you'd never ever dream of harming your child, but the next moment you're running for the acid injections, chemical-castration drugs, and bleach enemas (yes all of these are used, yes they kill, and yes there are plenty more). Others swear they don't go in for that pseudoscience, and that they only use “scientifically proven” and “effective” treatments, like behaviorism. Here's a news flash for you: sitting a child down for forty hours a week and telling them to “touch nose” or “pick up red crayon” is abusive. Teaching an Autistic child to suppress their autism permanently is sadistic. Teaching a child that it's wrong to refuse a hug, or a touch, when an adult wants to initiate, leaves them permanently vulnerable to anyone who chooses to take advantage.

And you get especially high and mighty when called out on your “behavioral problem.” When Autistic adults, who have PTSD issues because of what was done to us, tell you about the harm you are doing, you again make yourselves the victims, and we all know victims can do no wrong. In your “self defense,” you become again downright abusive. You gleefully trigger people who have the same disability as your children, and who have survived things similar to what you're doing, and then you blame us for having a “tone.” Still, you insist that it's all in self defense.

You excuse the murders of people who have the same disability as your children, who are murdered for their disability, which raises obvious questions about your intentions. You publicly shame your children for being born. Some of you add physical abuse to the emotional, whether for your own gratification or in some “crusade” to “save” your children. You personally abuse adults who have the same disability as your children, making sure to set an example that it's okay for others to abuse your child when/if they grow up. For all these reasons, we fear for your kids.