150. A Gentle Pushback

Every once in a while, someone is awesome enough to tell me that they enjoy my blog. Thank you for reading, and for letting me know. That means a whole lot.

I don’t expect to hear only praise, but I will offer some gentle pushback to the critiques:

1. If you feel my expectations for the neurotypical public are too high, I find that very interesting. Ask yourself why you hope that autism families will continue to power on without you, or institutions, having to do any significant transformation. Or how that is even possible. With complex conditions like autism, it takes vigorous assent to pan-societal karma yoga.

2. You must learn to take direction from people who are living it. This is not about your need to feel good.

3. Not actively discriminating is not enough. Comparing us to other autism families isn’t great either.

4. I often have this sense of us being the ball in a game of “Pass the Buck.” People always assuming someone else, or some other organization, will serve us better. Being told that some group an hour away has what we are looking for. To this, I say a resounding NO. This refusal to open up existing spaces is what will blight our children’s prospects faster than anything.

5. Fake inclusion is just as bad as no inclusion. This is why taking direction from trained folks is critical.

And finally,

6. If you think that even passively limiting access to participation in public life does not affect all spheres of our kids’ lives, then your double standards need to be torn down. You know very well that your own kids thrive on access to good teachers, positive mentoring, peer modeling, the warmth of social ties, the gift of shared passions, the delight of skill acquisition, and the knowledge that who they are is good enough. You know how hard you work to give them entry to spaces where all those things are possible.

Sit with why you think your kids deserve the moon, but special needs kids trying to have even a sliver of that garners so much indifference/apprehension that your own kids’ needs will be compromised/outright refusal.

Thank you for reading. I gently urge you not to engage in whataboutism after reading my words.

Radha.

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