Susan Senator Interview, SmockityFrocks Brouhaha, & Lost Classmates

Three short treatments of three notable events from this past week:

I had the honor of interviewing Susan Senator for BlogHer about her upcoming book The Autism Mom's Survival Guide. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote; you'll need to go to the interview to read Susan's own words of wisdom:
Did you know that autism parents can choose an identity other than Avenging Warrior or Martyr? That it is reasonable to aim for happy lives for us and our children, despite our kids' challenges? If this is news to you, then you need to read Susan Senator's forthcoming The Autism Mom's Survival Guide, A.S.A.P.
The Autism Mom's Survival Book is an important book, a desperately-needed book, a book that can help the next wave of autism parents sidestep the kind of post-diagnosis anxiety & depression that hit me in 2003 due to a lack of guidelines for my new Autism Mom identity.
Left Brain/Right Brain seemed to think the interview was useful. (Thanks!)


Autism parents and advocates throughout the Internet reeled after Niksmom tweeted her dismay over blogger SmockityFrocks stating outright what so many autism parents fear: that people assume our children are spoiled and ill-mannered before they consider any other explanation. Like, you know, autism. Liz Ditz, Emily, and StorkDok have all written blog responses as SmockityFrocks's original post's comments are closed.

Updated: SmockityFrocks took down the post, with additional defensiveness rather than an apology. Jesus is still crying. The rest of us know how to use Google Cache.  

Update 3.29: Cache is gone. Here is a permanent Google Doc link to SmockityFrocks's original post: http://is.gd/b5AAy

Update 3.30: SmockityFrocks posted a sincere apology. My reaction: Excellent, we're cool, and thank you. I also left a comment on each blog post below, notifying the blogger about the apology if they hadn't yet updated (except Barb's Kim's and Down the Rabbit Hole, as for some reason their comments weren't working for this computer).

Here's my take, from a comment I left on StorkDok's site:
People rarely have epiphanies of compassion when they're feeling as defensive as Smockity. What I hope she's learned from this, whether it sinks in now or later, is that our children with autism deserve more tolerance and empathy than people might naturally give (although as [StorkDok] pointed out, I'm sure Jesus would have given the girl and her grandmother the benefit of the doubt), and that kids with autism have watchful, vocal advocates.
But hey, I'd like to thank Smockity for inspiring so many bloggers to write Autism Awareness Day posts! I'll list responses here as they come in (be sure to read the comments as well ... that's where some of the most helpful thinking is happening):
  1. Liz Ditz: A Message for SmockityFrocks
  2. Emily at A Life Less Ordinary: Thou Shalt Not Mock Other People's Children
  3. StorkDok: So this is what those Moms are thinking when they give me and my son "that look" 
  4. Elise at ASD2mom: Snarky Ignorance and Autism Awareness [3.28 Updated with Must-read postscript]
  5. Terri Mauro at SpecialChildren.About.com: What Those Snippy Typical Parents Are Thinking Behind Your Back
  6. JoeyMom: Judgments Aside
  7. Life as the Mother of Four: I Wrote an Email to SmockityFrocks but William Erased it so I Can't Print it Here
  8. Melissa H: We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming
  9. Kim Wombles: When Life Gives You a Chance to Show Empathy, Get Defensive Instead
  10. AutismHerd: In Which a Mother Chooses a Mote Instead of a Pen
  11. BeThisWay: Hey parents of Autistic, Asperger’s and other ASD kids! Some of us parents of typical kids get it!
  12. Mittentime: I Don't Often Post About Autism
  13. Confutata: In Which Squillo Considers Motes and Eyes
  14. Barb Dittrich: All Eyes Are on You! [Christian perspective, really lovely]
  15. Kristina Chew at We Go With Him: Yes We Are the Weird Ones  
  16. Lynne S at Understanding My Son: Judgment 
  17. Tim at Both Hands and a Flashlight: Grace on Aisle 5 [hanky-worthy in a good way]
  18. BCPSS Parent at Surviving the System: Maybe It's Not Paranoia [This has really shaken her up; please leave a supportive comment]
  19. Raising Complicated Kids: Want a Little Challenge? 
  20. 9.39: Our Mall Meltdown, or, The One Where I Tell Smockity Frocks Where to Go
  21. Jean Winegardner at Washington Times Communities: When Autistic Behavior is Misunderstood
  22. Retired Waif: When Awareness Means Nothing [longtime disability advocate's perspective]
  23. Ramblings By a Liberal Feminist Geek: Autism Awareness (or Lack Thereof)
  24. Jennyalice: How a Person's Name Becomes an Adjective [If SmockityFrocks reads but one reaction, I hope it's this one.]
  25. Fuchsia With Yellow Polka Dots: Compassionate Disapproval for the Autism-Ignorant
  26. Melissa at Miracle Baby: It Really Does Take a Village
  27. Mom-Not Otherwise Specified: Autism Awareness and the Smockity Flap
  28. Down the Rabbit Hole: Oh the Joys of Judgmental People [Perspective from a person with autism who used to *be* that four-year-old child]
  29. ASDmommy at What We Need: What Comes Around
  30. Martian Momma: Frocking Hell - It's World Autism Awareness Day!
  31. Caitlin at Welcome to Normal: The Legend of Smockity Frocks
  32. Christa at Hyperlexicon: Untangling
  33. ShePosts: Smockity Faces Backlash After Inadvertently Mocking An Autistic Girl

Iz's Godfather Michael, with whom I've been friends since we were both younger than Mali, continues to demonstrate just how much-more-than-a-food blogger he is, for KQED Bay Area Bites. His last post was about an elementary school classmate of ours, the same age as Iz is now, who was murdered the summer before middle school. And, well, I'm not going to provide an excerpt. One read of Michael's post is all I can handle for now. But I hope you find it compelling.


Grab bag: Leo's classroom setting is changing (more on that soon), he's been the sweetest boy in the world, and he's starting to eat carrots willingly; Mali is obsessed with Tudor Revival architecture (don't you call it plain Tudor! SHE KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE!) and finally had enough with Leelo pushing her and turned around and clocked him even though he has 60 lbs and 18 inches on her; Iz has declared that she will "go emo" if she doesn't get to see her beloved Violet (who moved schools this year) soon, and continues to be the world's most fortunate child as she is being whisked off to a ski hill with her cousins for the weekend. Which is good, because at the moment Leelo is my model child; I would give almost anything to separate those bickering girls for an entire weekend.

Hope your weekend is loverly. We're going to go see flamingos.


  1. Done. Read here. it's nice in a New York sort of way.


  2. Anonymous5:28 AM

    I'm going to try to pray for that mom, but I need another cup of coffee first. God gives us what he feels we can handle.
    He must have a great deal of confidence to entrust children with autism to moms who are smart, patience, and eloquent. (I'm biased). I truly feel like children who are different are destined to be remarkable adults, and can't be left to "just anybody" or their spirits will be broken. Keep on doing what you are doing.
    Snappyjudgeypants, or who ever, is only a few steps into the journey. Not sure if she will be called to go much further. That's not my job. Maybe one of her children will grow into a disability advocate, as an act of rebellion.

  3. BTW Smockity removed her post. Maybe she's a little embarrassed by her cruelty?

  4. That post and that woman just make me feel cranky inside. I wonder if despite all of her bravado she has learned anything?

  5. I love Tudor Revival, too. So elegant. Always makes me think of the Three Bears' House. :)

  6. It is always disappointing when someone mixes one part judgment with one part condemnation and dispenses it with Bible in hand. Like beauty, humor is in the eye of the beholder, and while I do not find the humor in Smockity Frock’s writing that some people do, I do see her attempt at presenting the situation humorously. Unfortunately, her humor doesn’t mask her lack of Grace in this situation, as demonstrated by her second to last line, “Thus concludes the story of ‘What Happens When Coddled Little Girls Are Over Praised For False Virtues’.” Which one of us is not guilty of lacking Grace at one time or another? In a world of sinners, people sin. Why should we be surprised when they do?

    It is unfortunate that SF took down her post. There was a wonderful dialogue taking place in the comments section that was beneficial for all people involved. It was a missed opportunity to open the world of classified disorders to people who have neither the knowledge nor the experience to deal with them. Unfortunately, some bloggers become so used to praise in the comments section of their blogs that they have difficulty handling anything else. SF dug her heels in on this post. I hope that she reflects on the dialogue and handles such a situation differently in the future.

    I have one child who defies diagnosis (and there have been many attempts) and has thrown some spectacular tantrums in public. I have an ALCAPA cardiac kid whose care has presented some serious “looks” in public, some truly funny situations when her Mic-Kay button came out (Oy! Do they leak!), and one warning that our use of a backpack carried feeding pump was child abuse and we could be reported to the authorities. For what, feeding our child? In public? *GASP* Not that! I understand “the look.” It is in those situations that I have to remind myself that other people simply do not understand because they have not walked a mile in my shoes. In those situations, I pray for God to loan me His extra Grace when mine is insufficient.

  7. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Squid, I uploaded a pdf of Smockity's post in anticipation of her deleting her post. I made it open to all on google.doc. You and anyone can link directly to it with this link:


    Thank you for your support! Great post. I must get Susan's book!

  8. As a Mom of a typical child, my response was a little different...


  9. You know, I didn't realize this was a homeschool family. What a shame to miss such a wonderful teaching opportunity in the moment- to teach her own children to be accepting, helpful, polite, and even selfless.

  10. Anonymous7:22 PM

    I respectfully disagree that you all know what you are talking about. First of all, none of you were there to see the child's actions. No one without autism has ever flapped their hands. None of you were there to see/hear Grandma's words and tone. How nice of you all to talk of compassion while showing none. Of course, it is hard to do without your second cup of coffee.

  11. Same not-actually-respectful Anonymous as always. Carry on. With genuine respect, please.

  12. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Different anon here. I wasn't sure whether to post here or at LizDitz but I like you more...

    I am also surprised over the anger at this post. My BF has a daughter who is not autistic or on the spectrum at all. She is 4 and acts EXACTLY like what was posted.

    In that case, seriously, she is a brat AND has some mild SID (I've told bf all of this- she knows, and is consulting a parenting specialist and occasional psych for a while now to learn how to cope with this hardheaded kid better). Docs have told her, everyone has told her...

    Point is, I swear I saw my friend's kid, who is a major flapper, jumper and screamer in this story. You guys can't be sure. You can't. You're being too harsh on the poster, who saw in IRL.

  13. True, we weren't there -- but as has been pointed out elsewhere, the issues are:

    1) SmockityFrocks could have simply told the Grandma, "I want to let you know that we just started our session; it could be a while."

    2) After several commenters politely pointed out that the girl displayed many autism symptoms, SmockityFrocks refused to back down, whipping out Google-search knowledge of Temple Grandin to defend herself rather than considering she might have misjudged the situation.

    3) If the little girl did have autism, her self-control display was herculean, and resulted from hundreds of hours of effort, therapy, and expense.

    4) Autism parents so desperately wish people would give our kids the benefit of the doubt. Even if SF found the child's behavior irritating, the girl wasn't hurting anyone.

    5) I have said this differently elsewhere, and I don't mean this at all snarkily: SF needs to listen to her friend Jesus on this matter, and try to act differently next time - once this has settled down and she can actually hear his message of love and tolerance.

  14. Squid, your girls are a bit older than mine and I was hoping I'd hear about less bickering as the kids get older. I guess not. Mine (3 and 5) are at high fighting mode right now and it's driving me insane.

    I'm not sure if I'll write anything about Smockity, but if I do I'll be sure and let you know.

  15. Anonymous7:22 AM


    "In that case, seriously, she is a brat AND has some mild SID (I've told bf all of this- she knows, and is consulting a parenting specialist and occasional psych for a while now to learn how to cope with this hardheaded kid better). Docs have told her, everyone has told her..."

    If you knew anything about SID, you would understand that this is one of the difficulties that autistic children also have, and to say that a neurotypical child with SID is a brat is just...ignorant. SID is going to effect any child by making it difficult to go anyplace and try to integrate and figure out all the sensory experiences at the same time. Most of these children also have great difficulty in the social area because of the SID. They frequently have meltdowns, and yes, they flap, for some of the same reasons as autistic children. So to label your BF's child as a brat...well, I would hope you haven't said it to her, it would be as hurtful as what Smockity has said to parents of autistic children. There is no professional who would ever call a kid a brat. Your attitude is certainly not supportive of your friend. Moms with kids who need more support and different ways of learning don't need friends who consider their children to be "brats". You can't discipline the SID or autism out of a child.

    Your attitude is exactly what was evident in Smockity's post. You are judging based on ignorance. I hope, if you really care about your friend, educate yourself about SID.

  16. Mine is done as well please link all your posts her to my Weekend Warrior Carnival that is trying to bring Non-Special needs and Special Needs families together: http://knottyawetizmmama.blogspot.com/

  17. oops i meant link posts here not her, lol

  18. Recently my now adult son was at a large family function, and during a long presentation was shaking his right hand. He was having quite a bit of anxiety. The question I got from many afterward was "Does he play the guitar?". Which made me smile.

    I included something I wrote years ago about insensitive comments in the link for my name.

  19. Anonymous9:47 PM

    About my bf's friend is a brat-

    Yes, she is a brat. It is not the SID. That is a separate issue. That's where the parenting specialist comes in. It is a long story, too long and personal for here, but I do support her and my friend by letting her know all that she is doing right. (She does blame herself and it is partially true- based on many past events).

    In short, she let the kid run buckwild due to other issues and let her have anything, do anything, indulged when she stole from other kids etc. This is what happened as the kid has aged- she turned into a nightmare. She was warned by many repeatedly when her child was younger. You can have issues and still be a brat.

    (BTW she calls her kid worse names when she isn't there and is frustrated. It is a very long, unusual situation that led to it).

  20. Hey Squid,

    Came up with another thought and added it to my blog. It's in the version of a P.S.

    Snarky Ignorance and Autism Awareness

  21. Here's my take on the subject, as a disability-rihts advocate, rather than a special-needs parent--and thanks for rounding these up!


  22. Anonymous3:10 PM

    I think people defending Smockity are missing the point when they argue she may not have had autism. It really deosn't matter if she indeed had a dx. The fact is that her post depicted a young girl that had many traits of autiss and that many parents of children with autism could relate to. After this was pointed out to Smockity (in a very polite manner on her blog), she refused to give such suggestion any credibility. This is what hurts and causes so much anger. She didn't acknowledge the fact that *maybe* (not certainly) this child had a neurological disorder that warranted more sensitivity.

    No one is saying for certain that the girl had austim- they're saying the scenario resonates with them and that tolerance and kindness instead of snarkiness is a better approach.

  23. I don't care if the child was a brat or not (and anyone without some kind of weird benefit-of-the-doubt blinders on knows that child was autistic). Smockity gleefully made fun of a four-year-old child. If the child were simply an ill-behaved little girl...that's not her fault, and it's not justification for mean mockery. I can't think of a scenario in which I'd think it was OK to mock a child like that. There isn't a defense for it.

  24. Oh, and one more thing: that passive-aggressive business, where one adult cannot say to another, "They just started their game. It will be XX minutes"? I'm gonna judge that behavior here: That stuff drives me crazy. Why didn't she just say it? I've seen this kind of interaction between people, mostly women. It's clear passive aggression, waiting to see if the other party will break first.

  25. Wow thanks for the link roundup! Of course, actual patience and graciousness would look quite a lot different from smockityfrock's "humorous take". And I do believe it's possible to teach many or most young children real patience. I wonder if the smockityfrocks blogger will think that over and think what she actually might want to teach her children.

  26. I have a response of my own..


    It's not as good as other people's, but I'm not a parent.. just a person on the spectrum.

  27. Anonymous7:53 AM

    SR: I have reposted this comment from Anonymous, editing out SmockityFrocks' real name and location. I do not support "outing." Otherwise, this comment is the unedited opinion of yet another Anonymous.


    The most telling thing about Smockity [name and location deleted] is her sheer arrogance and immaturity. She posts a statement saying that she will not respond to strangers who have no right to judge her after just one post. However, she apparently feels it is perfectly fine to judge a child and her grandmother after just five minutes. Anyone who rips apart a child, autistic or not, on her blog for the sake of readership is a warped, immature individual. She also needs to stop hiding behind her bible and drop the "holier than thou" attitude. I think everyone knows her real personality by now.

  28. Anonymous8:10 AM


    Looking at some of her past posts. She is one deranged person.

  29. Great post and blog! I write about my son's journey to get a correct diagnosis @ the age of 11 (he is now 20) and an education. It took 5 schools and a new state to find that. But he is doing Great now, despite the judgement of cruelty of not only youth but too often adults too. So SAD!!
    Adding you to my favorite blog list on my sight! Thanks!!!

  30. Anonymous 8:10 AM Re: the Red Envelope post: While I don't agree with SmockityFrocks's pro-Life views, I also don't agree that her post is deranged. It seems like informed activism to me.

    Coreen, hugs back at you. Thanks for helping to pave the path that our younger kids will follow.

  31. At this point I guess I'm just surprised that she hasn't apologized. At least for unintentionally hurting people's feelings. I wonder why.

  32. Anonymous10:00 PM

    Yet another Anonymous.

    Wow, you all are much, much nicer people than I am. Smockity Frocks reminds me of a lot of people I've known IRL and on the Interwebs: they love the amens from the choir but can't handle it when someone questions the groupthink. It takes a certain maturity and (that word!) grace to admit the possibility that one has completely misjudged a situation or failed to consider a point of view. Some people can do that easily. Some can't. I have to say, Squid, one thing I love about you as a blogger is your openness and your willingness to reconsider your own past choices and other viewpoints.

    But honestly? The very name Smockity Frocks says just about anything I'd want to know about her--you can scoop up the ickysweet with a spoon. Though maybe my response is partly ethnic/cultural: I'm Jewish and the notion of this nice Christian lady blogging her heart out for Jesus by making fun of a preschooler makes me want to poke my own eye with a pen. Not to mention my big problem with SF's selective reading of the New Testament, a wonderful book I've read my own self which I seem to recall saying something about loving your neighbor. As long as we're on a roll, my cultural tradition says it's bad, very very bad, to indulge in something called loshen hora, or evil tongue, which is trash-talking people. EVEN IF IT'S TRUE. Kind of destroys your soul and ruins the other person's reputation. We're all guilty of it, including myself in this comment (though trust me, I'm holding back). It's nothing to be proud of.

  33. Mia C.7:48 AM

    I just wanted to post you a link to how a classy blogger handled a similar situation.
    This is Julia at Here Be Hippogriffs and it was a brief paragraph on a mom at a speech therapist's office. I made a comment and not only did she immediately email and apologize, but she made sure to edit that entry.


  34. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Me too, me too! Here's mine...I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I had to let it all percolate for a bit. http://asdmommy.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/what-comes-around/

    I once told a district superintendent that the special needs parents might be tired, but that we knew how to organize and advocate like no one else, and that if he really wanted to go ahead and put that high school for kids who have been kicked out of every other school into the same small building with the SN preschool, go right ahead and take the hit. He did do that, and we did go bonkers, and years later he's still under fire even though I'm long moved from there. I'd like to think I had some small part in that.

    Anyway, we've organized, we've responded, and I'm so glad to have found so many new friends via this disaster.

    Thanks for doing this.

  35. Anonymous8:21 AM

    I'm glad she apologized.

    I believe that she is sorry. That people were offended. But you know. She doesn't seem to get that her words WERE offensive. In an autism context.

    Here are her words:

    "The behavior I described was nothing more to me than childishness and impatience, but I can see now that the words I used were viewed as symptoms of autism and many people were offended."

    She is sorry that her words were viewed incorrectly and that people were offended. All passive voice -- were viewed, were offended.

    If I apologize to someone I've hurt by saying "I'm sorry you're upset by [whatever it was I did}" instead of by saying "I'm sorry I did X, I know that upset you"

    You don't give a sincere apology by saying "I'm sorry you're upset" You apologize for your actions.

    But maybe she really is sorry, and I'm projecting. It doesn't matter.

    I do think she will think about her words next time. Maybe she will even avoid giving other people the stink eye about their parenting.

    And frankly, I'll think more about my own judgements. Because even though I'm a mom to two autistic sons, I can be judgemental too. A common human failing.

  36. Thanks for letting me know about the apology.

  37. Anonymous2:01 PM

    I wanted to hear, "I'm sorry I gossiped and judged and condemned someone, when there was no way I could have had enough information to truly know what was going on."

    Instead all I heard was, "I'm sorry that I didn't anticipate that some people would misinterpret my words and feel hurt."

    So not really satisfied, but whatever. I don't know what personal battles Smockity herself is fighting; perhaps this is really good progress for her.

  38. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Anonymous Version 3.0.

    I'll wade in yet again and say I think that was an unpology. "I realize you think it was autism based on my description, even though I KNOW IT WASN'T AUTISM B/C I HAVE SEVEN KIDS AND TAUGHT AND KNOW MORE THAN YOU. And I feel bad that it caused negativity b/c, you know, I am all about the Christian joy and love and laughter as evidenced by my post making fun of a child."

    Interestingly enough, I was at Dave & Busters, sensory overload purgatory, today and was thinking about all this when I saw a woman and cute little girl in the booth next to me. They first caught my attention b/c the girl distracted and temporarily annoyed me by leaning over into my booth as I was reading. Then I took a closer look and realized, "Ah, my people" and realized she was actually being pretty restrained and quiet, just wiggly. When they got up I smiled at the mom and said, "She's cute," and the mom said, "She has autism." "She's still cute," I said, and then we talked a bit and exchanged the secret Autism Mom handshake and I wondered how often she'd had to make that little introductory/explanatory statement b/c Smockities dwell in so many of us, myself no exception.

  39. Anonymous10:13 PM

    At this point, it is just bullying. My God.

  40. Not sure if you're still looking for posts for World Autism Awareness Day/Smockity Frocks replies but if you are I have a post on my blog called "Frocking Hell! - It's World Autism Awareness Day!".

  41. Ditto: I posted "The Legend Of Smockity Frocks" (For World Autism Awareness Day) at www.welcome-to-normal.com

  42. Caitlin and Martian Momma, thank you and my apologies for being so late in adding your posts. It's been a week of kids on spring break and husbands working late every night and screaming deadlines and dead laptops and no sleep. But you're linked now.

  43. Boy - I missed all this Smockity stuff until now. And as the mother of one son with Asperger's and another with Down Syndrome (and a third who's showing signs of sensory processing issues), I'd like to say I'm shocked, but I'm not. I spend most of every day apologizing for the existence of my children. For their inability to behave in a way that meets the expectations of strangers. For making others uncomfortable. And for just walking in the room and forcing strangers to admit that these children exist.
    What chaps my hide the most? The fact that these people, who have no experience with children who have delays, problems, struggles or just a different way of interacting with the world, have the audacity to tell us what we're doing wrong. Mostly behind our backs.
    I will not hurl stones at this particular example. But, to all those "better parent than you"s out there, I say this. Until you've walked ONE DAY in my shoes, shut up. Keep your thoughts to yourself. And, especially if you can yourself a Christian, have a little grace. Realize and UNDERSTAND that you have absolutely NO IDEA what that caregiver is dealing with. Just because you have perfect children who have had no issues learning patience, manners and all that, doesn't mean that we are not doing are exhaustive best to teach the same to our children. We've been trying to teach our 6 year old with Down Syndrome to stop throwing, hitting and scratching for THREE YEARS. And we are consistent. Utterly consistent. But what takes you a month or two to teach your child has taken over THREE YEARS for us.
    And remember this: just because a child's issues aren't as obvious as my child's Down Syndrome doesn't mean they're not just as real. Just as difficult. Just as frustrating for the parent and the child.
    Perhaps instead of chanting some ridiculous mantra to yourself as you attempt to ignore what you see as bad parenting, you can watch as said parent attempts to work WITHIN said child's parameters to avoid a meltdown. Perhaps you can, instead, assume that this child and this parent are doing the very best they can. And, if you're very selfish, you can thank your lucky stars that you don't have to deal with any of this because you & your children are perfect.
    Judge not, o observer. Judge not.

  44. I have been thinking os Smockity's apology and I have come to the conclusion that it it is not as sincere as I first believed it to be. On her facebook page under her apology link, many of her "fans" are telling her that the apology wasn't needed. Also someone goes as far as calling those that complained "satan".
    She keeps these posts on her facebook page but deletes this very informative and insightful message that was left by Jeremy Cole:

    "I'm glad to see people coming together here to discuss - especially those that don't think the post was a big deal. I don't think it was Connie's intent to offend, and that is the essence of why autism awareness is so important. Autism is sometimes called "the invisible disorder" because our kids can seem perfectly "typical." As a result, they're often labeled as spoiled. Even teachers, experienced mothers and pediatricians can miss it. That's why today is the start of National Autism Awareness Month.

    I think most people can agree that publicly mocking any child is in poor taste. It's also important to acknowledge the medium in which the comments took place - a blog on the internet. This was not an idle comment passed between like-minded friends over coffee. This was more like an ad plastered on a billboard by the freeway.

    Whether the child was actually autistic or not is not really important. A child with sun glasses and a white cane might not be blind but writing a mocking post about her bumping into furniture would rightly enrage parents of blind children. For the autism community, and most sensitive people, saying that a child's excessive hand flapping might lead to the "first recorded case of self-propelled human flight" just isn't okay. Comments with "ROTFLMAO" (rolling on the floor, laughing my ass off) are, likewise, very hurtful. Perhaps more so.

    Lastly, for people on either side of this discussion to frame it as "judgemental Christians vs. autism" or "Satan" vs. Christ is just inflamatory and beside the point.

    I hope the net result of this discussion will be a pause in defensiveness that allows for some introspection about the people we aspire to be and how we want to treat others."

    Sadly, by deleting Jeremy's post above, she has showed me that she really does not care about autism awareness at all.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.