Sunday, April 7, 2013

Autism, with them.

    Trigger Warning: Ableism, Strong Language

   Here is a story with a misleading headline.  The headline reads "Autism diagnosis shatters Welsh family who go through 'dark times' dealing with aspergers".  Read the story.  Read the ableist words of the mother.  Read the excuses of the abandoning father. 

   The headline is misleading.  Autism did not shatter this family.  Privilege shattered this family.    The lack of courage to deal with life shattered this family.

  The girl, Holly struggled socially, had repetitive behaviors, and sensory issues.  A therapist called her a "manipulative drama queen".  The mother believed her daughter was just plain "naughty".  She was bullied and abused at school.  The family stayed together, perhaps on the belief that the child will get over herself and become their darling Princess Perfect that they feel entitled to. 

  At age 9, Holly is diagnosed with Aspergers.  The father can't "cope with the diagnosis" so he leaves.  And that is autism's fault?  That is illogical misconceived bullshit. 

  An autism diagnosis should have been a relief and a positive for their family.  Lucifer did not creep out of the bowels of Hell to give curse Holly and family with autism at age 9.  Holly has been autistic every second of her life. Holly has experienced the strengths and drawbacks of autism every second of her life, and now her parents have been given valuable knowledge with which they can help their daughter cope with her unique challenges.  Holly is the same girl with the same skill sets one second before and one second after diagnosis.  Nothing was lost, and knowledge was gained. 

   Instead daddy goes on a bender, and we blame autism.  Daddy took a hike because his once potentially perfect little girl no longer lives up to his ill conceived illusions.  His privilege has been violated.  He now realizes he has a disabled child and he doesn't feel he deserves that challenge. 

   He is not a victim of autism. He is a coward.  He ran away. 

   The mother says she would have rather have had a "naughty" child than discovered that Holly have autism.  Are you fucking serious?  You would rather have a child that as a previous therapist put it, manipulates others for attention than have a child that misreads social cues due to a having a brain that is wired differently? 

   She is not a victim of autism. She is an asshole.  She is the new Alison Singer.

   Holly is not a victim of autism, she is a victim of her parents failures.  And also of a society that blames her and autism as an excuse for her parents shortcomings.  Everyone is perfect in this whitewashed illusion we live in, unless you are different.  Then you are a living, breathing excuse for everyone elses problems.   

   Nobody is perfect. You don't always get what you think you deserve for all of the good you think you do.  You can love and support those around you to make the best of it.  Or you can be a whiny privileged coward, or a hate mongering ableist.

  The headline is wrong.  The story is not about autism.  It should be "Privileged Welsh family shattered by real life".  Get it straight.


  1. I agree that the title of the article is misleading, but I think the article itself is solid and decent and it is useless to judge/condemn the family. They tell about how they struggled to mentally process the diagnosis which they at the time didn't knew much about apart from stereotypes, and which scared them. The mother describes how the therapist who diagnosed Holly as a 'manipulative drama queen' was wrong (implied: probably an idiot), and in the way for Holly to get the support she needed, and how she had to seek information on her own to get to understand her daughter's condition.

    The article concludes that the diagnosis has been a positive thing for the family and particularly for Holly, it just took time to understand it and accept it. And the family describes how they did notice Holly's autistic traits from she was a baby and saw she had social difficulties that could not be explained by being a 'drama queen' (her mother compares her to her brother).

    Quote from the article:

    "Holly said: “I would really like for people to know that even though kids like me have autism, we are human, we’re not weird and we’re not freaks. We’re just different. I think being different and thinking differently is cool.” "

    1. I agree with you that the article has some positives (other than the bad headline). Holly is certainly positive. Perhaps more so than her parents at the time of diagnosis, which is why I was pissed enough to make this post.

      “When I had the diagnosis in my hands, I wished that she was just naughty,"

      I find that to be really hurtful. I'm glad she's become more positive since then, but that quote stings. And it must have stung Holly. Even if she never said that to her daughter (she probably didn't to be fair).

      "The strain of the diagnosis saw Rob, 46, leave after feeling he could not cope.

      'He could not get his head around the diagnosis. He really struggled to understand Holly and her condition,' said Jo."

      This is where I completely disagree with you when you say its useless to judge. Men get away with this way too much, and they need to be called out on it. At the moment where his wife and child needed him, he took a walk. A 3 1/2 year walk, and blamed it on autism.

      This reminds me way too much of "I Am Autism" first of all, and their fearmongering claim that Autism ends 70% of marriages. The responsibility for the seperation is placed on the diagnosis, when its not. Holly is the same girl she was before the diagnosis.

      The blame should be on him personally, he is an adult, a man and a father to a child, and he failed. The family has gotten back together. I'm honestly glad. Forgiveness is a powerful thing. While you forgive, you can't ever forget. He left and that's always going to be there. He needs to be called out on it. He needs to shoulder the blame, not an autism diagnosis. His personal failure led to dark times.

      Those are my issues with this article. My anger towards the family is driven by personal experience.

      Thanks for your comment :)