A lot of time has passed since then. I don't have meltdowns nearly as often as I used to, and they are never as severe. I have learned how to better control my environment through routine, and my years of carefully watching other people communicating have helped me to be able to communicate on my own. Sure, those coping mechanisms and personal growth that help me to function in society didn't come easy, but myself and my loved ones worked hard, and they came in time. There was suffering, but it was temporary and minor in the grand scheme of my life.
Last week, Suzanne Wright, co founder of autism speaks, took some words from her mind and put them on the internet. Words like burden, lost, epidemic, gravely ill, and unable. She used phrases such as “these families are not living”, “their lives are lived in constant fear and despair”, she said many parents are too “emotionally depleted” and that families with an autistic child will break apart and fail.
I know autism. I've lived through the hardest of hard times because I'm autistic. I was in a psychiatric ward on 24 hour suicide watch in the fourth grade because that's when I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to stop being autistic. I knew in my heart that no cure was ever going to come. So I did the only logical thing, I embraced it. I worked with my autism instead of against it, and the wheels started turning. My behavior started improving. I needed less and less medication. I started to function. Autism did that. The process was in no way easy, but the end result was worth twice the pain and suffering I endured. And I did it on my own, not some scientist doing genetic tests, not some people walking 5k and donating money, not even my parents. It was me.I know autism. Suzanne Wright claims to know autism. She is mistaken. She definitely knows and feels passionate about something, and that something sure does sound bad, but that something isn't autism. She should take her organization, her money, and her time, and dedicate it to fighting that something. Because whatever it is, it sounds bad. Who knows? Maybe her fight against this something will make the world a better place.