I understand that some people are happy and comfortable with their neuro-atypical selves and although they have some some struggles, would like nothing more than to just be accepted and embraced for all of who they are. I completely and totally support that!

AND, my son cannot be left alone. Any time we want to go somewhere without him, we have to hire a sitter. He’s 20 and this will never end. It will be like that for the rest of his life and ours. He has stomach issues and seizures. He will never live by himself and after we die, I have no idea who will care for him. He will never get married or hold a job. He’s non-verbal and although he has a communication device, it can be very frustrating for him. If there were some way for him not to have to endure all of that, I’d take it in a heartbeat — not because I want to erase who he is, but because I love who he is and I want him to be safe and get to live a full life. One of his friends hit her head during a seizure and drove a bunch of her front teeth through her upper lip. I am terrified that something like that will happen to him.

If a viable medical intervention were developed, people who didn’t want to take it wouldn’t be forced to do so. But people who did desperately want something that would give their loved one a better life would have some options. The only reason that autism insurance reform finally got passed in North Carolina after 6 years of constant advocacy was the unwavering support of Autism Speaks. We worked closely with them for years on that project, and many on the staff have children of their own on the spectrum — children who they most certainly do not hate. Anyone calling them a hate group is childish and misguided.

My son is way more than his autism and to suggest otherwise is the truly offensive statement!

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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