The Silence of Our Friends

Sunday, December 16, 2007


UPDATE! In comments Amp left a link to The Gimp Parade where there is an announcement that the NYU Child Study Center has put an end to the ransom notes campaign due to the huge amount of calls, letters, and emails they have received from the disability community and their friends. So a big thank you to all who participated!

Ms Crip Chick has a post up about an ad campaign for the NYU Child Study Center. It contains ransom notes insinuating that disabilities kidnap people. What's worse is that these notes contain the wrong information. For example Autism -
We have your son.

We will make sure he will not be able to care for himself or interact socially for as long as he lives.

This is only the beginning.


My oldest son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. His actual diagnosis is Hyperlexia PDD/NOS (pervasive development disorder/not otherwise specified). He is awkward socially, but no more than any other teen boy. It hasn't stopped him from having dozens of friends. When he was really young I avoided giving him his actual diagnosis, I didn't want him to learn from others - what he couldn't do. And so he didn't know that he isn't supposed to have alot of friends. He didn't know that he isn't supposed to be a good student who gets mostly Bs and Cs with occasional As. He didn't know that he isn't supposed to love and be loved. He didn't know that he is supposed to be helpless and silent.

I was afraid of moving from Wisconsin to New Hampshire. I worried that my sons would have a hard time making new friends. Their friends in WI they knew since grade school. And I worried that here in NH these kids would already have their friends they knew since grade school and not make room for the new kids. I forgot to give my oldest his lunch money one morning and when I got to the school he was already in the cafeteria. I came up behind him to give him the money and he was holding forth at a table full of kids, remember this is the autistic kid, who supposedly can't interact socially for as long as he lives. He also has a girlfriend already. I didn't have to worry. They both have new friends, and keep in touch with old friends by phone, and those internet networking sites like myspace, facebook, as well as instant messaging.

These ads are not helpful. They instill fear, in those who have developmental disabilities, in their parents, in society in general. What these people need is strategies for coping in a world built for the able, or information on what services are available and how to get them, not negative stereotypes that tell them what they can't do or be.

Please read Ms Crip Chick's post and write to the NYU Child Study Center at the address provided. Thank you!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We Do Have Some Great Allies

I moseyed on over to Orcinus to see what Dave has been up to and find out that he has a weekly guest posting gig at Firedoglake and his latest hits it out of the park on immigration. I was already pretty excited to see his post when I was reading the comments and there goes Eli of Multi-Medium giving me more reason to do a happy dance.
...Well, unless the Democrats figure out that Hispanics are a growing constituency, and that they should be trying to appeal to them rather than jumping on the anti-immigrant hatewagon.

Or that, y’know, it’s the decent and moral thing to do. But doing the right thing out of self-interest is probably a better bet (it’s bound to happen eventually, right?).

That isn't the only thing Eli has to say, he's spewing goodness like a geyser over there in comments. Not only that but others seem to get it, like Selise who says: thing (among many) that really bothers me about this, is how the economic policies of the dems during clinton’s presidency has contributed to the problem - from fucked up trade policies that increase immigration pressure to off shoring jobs that create economic insecurity here. if the dems would be the party of the working class instead of just throwing the occassional bone - the economic pressures that make us ripe for scapegoating (of immigrants or whoever) could be defused.

lecturing people about their racism, i fear, will just add to the resentment.

Alright, I don't agree with that last part, or characterizing it as lecturing, but I do think it is important to understand what forces are contributing to the influx of immigrants and she got that part and isn't afraid to point the finger at the Dems.

I wrote this post because lately so many of my WOC friends are exhausted and disappointed after flamewars and disagreements from the people who are supposed to be on our side, but who want our support while they don't feel they need to support us in any way, or even listen to us. So it's nice to see when those who are supposed to be on our side really are on our side.