This is the first post in a one year blog. This blog is my New Year's Resolution. It is here to emphasize the sense of urgency that is repressed about so many things. Today's topic is something that needs those of us who parent autistic children and ally autistic disability rights advocates and to be, well, BRAVE.
Sara Bareilles, with uncanny timing, hit me with her song about the time I was asking myself what else I can do to wake parents up. I have so many examples of parents silently allowing injustices against their children to continue. Horror stories they call them. Horrible because justice is never on the side of their children. Crimes go unpunished. I had one mother tell me how it felt to watch a school principal who knowingly allowed a teacher to abuse her child win an award. This mom kept silent. The next victim was my son. To quote Sara's song:
"And since your history of silence,
won't do you any good,
did you think it would
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don't you tell them the Truth"
Parents cannot protect their children by allowing everyone else's child to be collateral damage. They cannot remain silent in fear of any greater authority. Everything related to the lifespan of our children is our fight and our business. The ideology that my son is better off dead if he can't be cured is my enemy and it is the enemy of every parent who has a special needs child. We need to make our presence felt. How can we fight against seclusion and restraints in public schools and try to justify other parents murdering their own children? The silent majority of special needs parents need to be brave now.
On March 1st the Autistic Self Advocacy Network is holding a remembrance vigil for disabled victims of filicide. It isn't just a day of mourning. It is a visible demonstration of the humanity, empathy, and right to existence of our children and every adult human being like them. They are fighting for their lives. We cannot simply allow a culture of ableism, negativity and depression push more parents over this cliff to murdering their own flesh and blood.
I am demanding. I am loud. I am being this way because I am mortal, and my son will very likely live out part of his life without me to stand with him. So rather than perversely believe that he can't live without me, I choose to fight like hell for his right to live on regardless of my lifespan. So many of you are silent. You cannot continue to let fear silence you while our children, young and old are abused, segregated from society, marginalized and murdered. You must be brave now. Join us. I want to see parents filling every park in America. I want us to mourn those children. I want us to vow that if we see a parent slipping we won't ignore them. I want us to say this is WRONG. This must end. Please don't let me post another name on my wall of victims. End the murdering.
We are not psychic. We cannot see into the minds of the people who murdered their children. We should not ascribe reasons to explain away this crime. It is important to be firm. This is not, under any circumstances, the way to manage caring for a disabled loved one. Killing is not a sign of love. No one believes that when the children victimized do not have a disability label. Our children are just as precious as any other children.
Pass this on. To everyone. If you are a parent and want to join an event in your area, ASAN has a sign up sheet and information here. If you want to participate online, email ASAN and ask what you can do to help us. Just say it. I love my children. I won't murder them.
See you at the vigil in Washington DC, on March first.