About three weeks ago I offered to write something for the ban cd/mms site. But over the course of those three weeks I completely forgot what I was supposed to be writing about. Granted, I am on the far side of ‘middle aged’ but still – how could I forget about something so urgent and important?
And that’s really the question, isn’t it?
In most parts of the world we’re way past ‘autism awareness.’ We’ve been aware for a long time. We’ve moved on toward acceptance- and to hearing from autistics to find out just exactly what acceptance looks like.
But when it comes to abuse and misguided ‘interventions’ for autistics we seem to be way behind. Many of us are just beginning to become aware of some of the horrors taking place in our own backyards.
I started working with young children more than 30 years ago. Over the years I’ve seen some pretty whacky ideas surface – from ‘ The Indigo Child’ to ‘The Helicopter Parent.’ But one of the most bizarre, invasive, and creepy was the idea that enemas and purges would cure autism. And yes, that was 30 years ago! At the time, I felt certain it would be a passing fad. Surely parents wouldn’t buy into this nonsense?
Fast forward to 2016 and it turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. I don’t like being wrong. Ask anyone who knows me. I like being right. And I like believing the world is spinning around as it should, all the I’s dotted and all the T’s crossed. So discovering three decades later that not only are enemas and purges still being ‘sold’ as cures was not only upsetting – it threw me off balance.
It was just infinitely easier to put all that information in a box and seal it up tight with duct tape.
No more icky photos to look at. No more sickening ‘testimonials’ to read. No more imagining the pain and indignity autistics are subjected to each time someone decides to ‘cure’ them.
In my imaginary world this is the perfect place to end the story.
Postscript: We live in the real world.
These abuses are taking place. How do we move forward? I can almost predict who will reply/comment and who will not. But, you know what? This is one time I’d love to be wrong.