Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Viewpoint: Autism Is the Unexpected Party

Inside the Puzzle blogger Devon Alley provides a parental perspective on childhood autism, sensory integration dysfunction, and other issues.

For some reason, I've been reading a lot of negative and depressing posts about autism lately. I'm guessing this may be because Extreme Makeover Home Edition is coming to my hometown, and since Jenny McCarthy is coming to Knoxville as part of that project, the word on the street is that the initiative will be helping a local family that's affected by autism. This has reignited the local branch of the "vaccers vs. anti-vaccers" debate, which has been part of negativity, and has also brought attention to some very real problems that many people in the community are currently dealing with, such as a single mom being evicted from her apartment because of her autistic son's noise disturbances.
Don't get me wrong -- it's good that such a big media event is bringing attention to these issues, and it's good to have these debates and conversations in a public forum. The minister of my church, Rev. Chris Buice, said something in his sermon last Sunday that I feel would be especially applicable to these discussions:
"So much of what passes as dialog in our culture is really about defeating an opponent, humiliating an enemy, destroying an adversary, winning an argument, instead of winning new understanding, winning new awareness, winning new friends."

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