This is my son Andrew.
He has autism.
He loves the ocean
stained glass windows
his brother Ian
the tractors from CARS
getting raspberries from his daddy
and his iPad
Andrew has autism.
He may be different in a lot of ways,
but he is most certainly not less.
He is not someone you should be afraid of.
But do you know what should scare you?
How quickly our society jumps to conclusions, how quickly society will believe dangerous lies in its pursuit of a scapegoat when tragedy strikes.
Did you know that after the media reported that the Newtown shooter may have had autism, someone started a Facebook page and promised to burn a child on the spectrum for every 50 likes the page got?
Do you know what that feels like, as a parent of a child with autism?
Did you know that the autism community wants to be able to grieve with the rest of the country, but instead, we’ve been backed into a corner and forced to dispel rumors and myths that are hurtful and have potentially incomprehensible consequences for those with an Autism Spectrum diagnosis?
Did you know that people are turning away from family and friends with children on the spectrum out of fear and ignorance?
Do you know how dangerous misinformation can be, especially in the hands of people desperately seeking revenge?
Do you know how petrified I am to send my son back to school after winter break because of how some people may perceive him, judge him, based on irresponsible reporting by the media and society’s obsession with jumping to conclusions?
Don’t let fear mongering, misplaced anger, and inaccurate information infiltrate your hearts and your minds.
Autism is nothing to be afraid of.
There’s nothing scary about my son, or others like him.
Just ask me