Tag Archives | support

What is Autism Advocacy to you?

You would think that a question, such as “what is autism advocacy to you?”, would be pretty straight forward. However, if you ask a few thousand people that question, you’ll very quickly realize that it’s most definitely not straight forward.


1. to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly: He advocated higher salaries for teachers.

2. a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. (usually followed by of ): an advocate of peace.
3. a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.
4. a person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law.

I think everyone can agree that, even though there is an official definition, there is no one way to be an advocate.

Autism Advocacy

So I asked what Autism Advocacy is to people on various social networks and thought I’d share some of the responses with you:

#empowerment #support to let families affected by #Autism , #ASD , & #FragileX know ‘they are not alone’

Active support that raises awareness, results in change & aid 2 individuals & families.

For me it means donating money to autism research, doing walks for autism, striking up a conversation about it with strangers in the checkout line, at the park or wherever. Online, it means posting articles, videos, blogs etc talking about different aspects of the disorder. I think it is a combination of these things, as well as being a “voice” for those people affected by it.

Raising awareness of the breadth and scale of autism and reminding people it is a life long condition. I certainly have got into the habit of posting articles / starting conversations about issues on autism.

Autism Advocacy on a parental level is educating the awareness of the challenges you face everyday with your child who is diagnosed. Especially with your community leaders, your local government, and advocating for change to enhance and strengthen the bonds of Autism Families. Most families are not able to financially support the intervention that is provided through health insurance, Fundraising is important aspect of providing those needs to your family. Structure is vital for children with Autism.

I even got some responses such as this one:

Unfortunately, mostly very loud parents.

Which may bring you to feel upset at first but I think when you really think about it and think back to some of the other parents you may have come across in your life, this actually may be true… maybe not “mostly” but certainly some do qualify.

You can quickly see just how varied the answers are. They’re all advocates but they look at the tasks, the targets and those they’re advocating for quite differently.

Who are some good Autism Advocates?

I also asked who people felt are good autism advocates. Many people named Temple Grandin, some people mentioned people on Twitter, such as @Diaryofamom@shannonrosa@CorinaBecker@AutismWomen and @LauraBShumaker.

The response from some parents where that they, themselves, were the best Autism Advocates. Why?

Well, as the parent of a child with Autism, no one could advocate for their child better than they could.

But this brings us back to the first question, what is Autism Advocacy?

In a rather amazing bit of good timing, Jim (@GingerHeadDad) wrote this just yesterday: http://gingerheaddad.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/what-is-wrong-with-just-being-a-parent/

I had written several replies in his comments but never hit submit on any of them. I felt I wasn’t expressing myself clearly, I felt I wasn’t doing his post justice. I felt… I felt that the questions that I had been asking essentially are the response to his post that I am looking for. So I decided to write up a blog post of my own in response and share that in his comments….  which brings me to this:

Autism Advocacy – As Defined By Stuart Duncan

Autism Advocacy is the speaking up about, speaking on behalf of, speaking in support of, speaking in defiance of and speaking in defense of yourself, a loved one, all people with Autism or for Autism in general whether you are speaking to yourself, one other individual, a group of individuals or the entire world.

What does that mean?

It means that it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve donated, if you’ve created laws, written books, built buildings or if you’ve informed a family member, had a teacher recognize a special situation involving your child, had an impromptu discussion with a stranger or even if you’ve simply come to self realizations all on your own…. you are an Autism Advocate.

Never feel like you aren’t doing enough simply because your advocacy efforts are focused on those you love.

That change you made in a teacher, that stranger you talked to, that family member that has a better understanding… they’ll carry that forward to the next time they encounter someone with Autism and it will affect them. You will have made a difference.

Always accept that you feel you could do more but never let yourself feel like you haven’t done enough.

We all see advocacy differently. We all see Autism differently. We all have a different view that leads us to different goals.

It’s not about the number of people that hear you. It’s not about the size of the changes you can inspire in the world.

Big or small, loud or quiet, we are all advocates.


To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world. ~ Brandi Snyder

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The life of an autism parent advocate

In one way or another, all parents that have a child with Autism will become an advocate… whether they are just explaining to fellow family members why their child behaves how they do, or if it’s fighting for their rights in schools and other services or if it’s speaking out to the world on behalf of all people with Autism… we all come from the same place, we all do our best with the best of intentions.

In some ways, it sounds glamorous… putting up the good fight, speaking to the hearts of others… but at the same time, it sounds like quite the struggle. A constant, tireless battle requiring a love filled heart surrounded by a skin of steel.

I can’t speak for everyone, only myself, but one could imagine that the stories of most people aren’t far off from what I’m about to tell you.

What you already know

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a parent. Which means you already know all about the cost of parenthood, the constant running around, the constant illnesses, the constant battles at bed time and so on and so forth.

This includes the unexplained rashes, heart break over bullying and more.

What you might not know

With Autism comes a host of other issues, including no sleep, irregular diets, regular therapy appointments, battling the education system, having to fight with the government for coverage and assistance and a whole lot more.

Bullying is far more likely as well as far more frequent. Friendships are far less likely and less frequent.

Regular clothing can be painful, bike riding can take 2 to 3 times longer to learn, special equipment may be needed such as trampolines or Lycra(stretchable) bags or bedding. Some children even need weighted vests.

The diets aren’t just stressful to keep on top of, but in some cases can be quite costly. For example, I can buy a loaf of bread for $1.80 at the store…. or I can buy a loaf of gluten free bread for my son for around $8. A small bag of gluten free pretzels, containing about 12 pretzels, costs $5.

The cost of success

So it turns out that I’ve been doing rather well at being an Autism Advocate…  but the question is, what does “doing rather well” mean?

Well, no parent becomes an advocate for the paycheck.

I have been asked by several blogs, even charities, to write for them. I’ve done several radio interviews, been in the paper a few times, even had CNN call me once. I have almost 10k followers/fans/circles across the various social networks and I get between 5 and 10 emails a day with questions or just to share their story.

All in all, I call that a success and am quite proud. However, there is an inherent problem with all of this.

As it adds up, I find myself spending 1-3 hours a day on Autism advocacy… that’s my own personal time.

When you consider that I have a 9-5 job just like everyone else, plus a family of 4 which I love to spend my time with and then various other responsibilities and commitments…  let’s just say that the 24 hour day gets used up pretty quick.

On top of that, as I said earlier, therapy, diets, special supplies and more really begin to add up when being a parent tends to cost a small fortune as it is.

The cost of success being an Autism parent advocate is that you get less hours, more bills and even greater stress.

It’s not a thankless job

The one saving grace is that it’s not a thankless job. I often hear from others how grateful they are and for that, I myself, am grateful. If money wasn’t a problem, that’s all I’d ever need. A thank you means everything to me.

Welcome to the crossroads. That’s where I am now. I love being an Autism advocate. I love hearing from people… their good stories, bad stories… I love writing the articles, reading articles from others…

The problem is, I simply can’t keep devoting hours of each day while the bills pile up and begin to fall behind.

I come across twitter account after twitter account, facebook fan page after facebook fan page… inactive. And I can’t help but wonder if they ran into the same crossroads. Did they lose interest? Or did they find that they simply couldn’t commit to it any longer?

Autism advocacy: it is glamorous, it is a struggle… it is all those things to different people.

The good news is that the numbers keep growing. Awareness keeps increasing. With every person that has to hang up their hat to focus on their family, there’s another 2 people there to take their place.

No matter what. Stay strong. Stay positive. And remember, support is where you give it.

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Autism and Google+: The potential for a new Autism Community

Google+ AutismI’ve been using Google+ for a little while now (being relative since it’s only a month old) and the way I see it, Google+ could radically alter the Autism Community online forever… that is… if it really does take off and people use it.

Let me tell you a little bit about how it’s different, some very powerful ways to use it and a couple of surprises at the end that I think will really intrigue you.

The advantage over other social networks?

Facebook lets you share with friends. You can start to branch out a bit but really, the people you reach on Facebook are people you’ve already reached in some way.

Twitter on the other hand is a bunch of connections with people you don’t know. This allows for a much larger network, obviously, however your network is your network. That is to say… what you say is answered by your network. Other people don’t get to see each other’s replies.

So if I ask for the answer to world peace and someone answers me….

  • Facebook: I see it, my friends see it and my friends see my friends replies.
  • Twitter: Only I see it. No one sees that reply come in unless they follow me and the person who answered it.

Google+ is entirely different in that you can circle (a lot like following on Twitter) so you can pick and choose as you wish, like Twitter. The difference is that when someone replies to me, everyone gets to see that reply. The secret to world peace just went viral!!

Let me put it this way… you may only be in 3 people’s circles… but if I am in 200 people’s circles and ask for the answer to world peace and you answer, the other 199 people in MY circles  get to see that answer.

From there, those 199 people can circle you, you wise person with such a great answer! Think about it, no matter how quiet of a person you may be… that answer never would have been heard because you don’t know the secrets to social networking and self marketing but now, you just gained an audience of 200 people that you didn’t have before simply by answering me.

The potential for network and community building is astronomical compared to the other networks. And your brilliance, no matter how quiet, has a chance to shine.

So what are circles? How should I use them?

Think of circles like Twitter’s lists… it helps you to sort the people you follow into different categories. Think of them as “circles of friends” where you may have a circle of co-workers, a circle of family members and so forth.

The thing to remember is that some people fit into multiple circles. A co-worker could be a family member. So that person would fit into both circles.

In this way, when you share something on Google+, you can choose which circles get to see it. For example, a family reunion update would be shared with your family circle and not your co-workers.

How do I use Circles?

I will give you a run down of the circles I use, as they pertain to autism. This is my list of circle names:

1. Autism
1.1 Autism Parents
1.2 Has Autism
1.3  Autism Advocates
1.4  Autism Charities
1.4.1  Autism Speaks
1.4.2 National Autism Association
1.4.3 Autism Society
1.4.4 Autisable.com

This may look a little strange at first but let me explain.

First of all, EVERYONE that is involved with Autism is put into circle 1. From there, if they’re parents, I put them into circles 1 and 1.1. If they have autism or aspergers, they go into circles 1 and 1.2. If they are advocates (don’t have autism or a child with autism), they go into 1 and 1.3. If they are a charity (as of this writing, I think only Autism Speaks has a Google+ account), they go into 1.4. If they’re an employee of an autism charity, let’s say Autism Speaks, they go into circles 1, 1.4 and  1.4.1.

Now, if I want to share something with only Autism Speaks employees, I share with circle 1.4.1. If I want all autism charities and their employees to receive it, I choose circle 1.4. If I want everyone involved with autism to read it, I choose circle 1.

By breaking it down into sub categories like this, you can include everyone, sub groups or specific people. It saves me from having to select 5 circles when I want to share with everyone. I can just choose one circle this way. Like wise, I can share with just fellow autism parents and not bother others, if it’s parent specific.

Wait, autism charity employees?

That’s right, I have started comprising a list (it’s small right now) of people of interest on Google+ right now.

Google+ gives us an unprecedented ability to reach people on a much more personal level. A huge amount of Google+ staff have profiles, Mashable’s writing staff have profiles, even Facebook’s top staff have profiles!

And so it is with Autism charities as well. Here are some notable people to circle:

Autism Speaks:
Marc Sirkin – https://plus.google.com/103356743690962786437/posts?hl=en
Peter Bell – https://plus.google.com/114190864043437006493/posts
Allan Benamer – https://plus.google.com/114400648902272848682/posts

National Autism Association:
Wendy Fournier – https://plus.google.com/101658238903147028726/posts

Autism Society of America:
Amanda Glensky – https://plus.google.com/116516874708262899866/posts

Joel Manzer – https://plus.google.com/115997835837459639477/posts

If you know of more, or if you are an employee of an autism charity/organization/company looking to make connections, please contact me so that I can add you to the list.


Hangouts are super cool webcam chats where, instead of talking to one person, you can talk to up to 9 others! And it is quite the intelligent system where everyone is shown in a thumbnail but the person making the most noise (ie, talking) is shown in the main window (large webcam image).

I’ve already approached some people and have found some interest in doing a regular webcam chat where people can ask questions, get support and even talk to notable people such as the staff of autism charities.

Sorry, you will need a webcam to participate in this and yes, we’re going to have to see you… but we’re all tired, we’re all needing some support and having some questions so there’s no need to be shy.

Look for this to start happening soon!

Let’s start networking and grow this community

If you were to view my “about” page on Google+, you’ll see a link to one of my updates (https://plus.google.com/106357905229054139137/posts/3bYSbVAqk8V). Basically, I created this as a way for people (you) to introduce yourself and also as a way of knowing how you fit into the autism community.

You certainly don’t have to rush there to be a part of the group or anything but it gives you a good idea of how to begin.

Introduce yourself, put a little bit into your bio, as you would on Twitter, so that people know how to circle you. You have to remember that this isn’t a “friend” network… also, people might not even recognize you since you’re “encouraged” to use real information rather than just a twitter username there.

So if you sign up and don’t use a familiar avatar or username, people might notrecognize you and know how to circle you.

And don’t be shy about circling others. If you see people commenting, if you see people sharing… circle them. The bigger and better the community, the better we can grow and support each other.

By the way, you can find me here: https://plus.google.com/106357905229054139137/posts

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Autism Advocacy – Some ideas to get you started

autism ribbonI have been rather fortunate to be able to write for not only my blog, but also some pieces for several other blogs as well. It turns out that writing is something that I rather enjoy and I can even be proud to say that I do quite well.

It occurred to me though, that not everyone is a great writer… or comfortable with public speaking… but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be a great advocate. Some people find some great ways to advocate while others still struggle to find what works for them.

So I thought I’d put together some thoughts and ideas in ways that you could help be the advocate you really want to be even if you have no formal training or previous expertise.

Every day life

Probably the most recognized and frequently used method for advocacy is simply to live life with Autism or with a child that has Autism. You’ll find yourself explaining it to friends and family, you’ll find yourself correcting others or volunteering information when people ask… sometimes you might even have to explain yourself or your child in a public setting if something embarrassing happens.

When you live it, you advocate it simply by walking out your front door.

Don’t be afraid to answer questions, don’t be afraid to offer information. You don’t have to have all the answers, just your own experiences. Explain how it’s not the same for everyone but you can offer your own knowledge on the topic.

People are very receptive, people are often very willing to learn. You don’t have to advertise it but don’t hide it either. When someone shows an interest, speak up.

Wearing Autism Merchandise

Wearing something on yourself is not only a subtle reminder to people but can be a conversation starter. There are a lot of choices, some people even opt to get a tattoo!

What ever it is you do, don’t go overboard. The last thing you want to do is annoy people with it. So keep it smart, keep it clever and even classy if you can. Funny is good too but can be offensive to some if you’re not careful.

Ultimately, so long as you’re not annoying anyone… do what ever looks good on you.


Most charities and events are non-profits… meaning that they don’t do what they do to make money, they do it to fund research or support families.

That means that they could really use the help, since they have no extra money to pay people. And usually it only involves and afternoon or just a few hours but your help would be invaluable.

In these instances, I like to think of it as the worker bee scenario.

Events, such as concerts, walks, bbq’s, etc take a lot of people to pull off properly. Whether it’s flipping burgers, getting people’s names… what ever.

Each and every little job is not only important, it’s necessary… and if they can’t fill those spots, the entire event could be in jeopardy.

Your help, whether big or small, for hours or days, is a big part of it’s success. If you can’t afford to donate, if you can’t be a public figure… just pitch in and help out. It’s needed more than you know.

Local Support Groups

Every community, big or small, has at least one local support group. Those groups usually consist of people with valuable information that you can learn from but there’s often people there that have no information, that need information… that feel quite lost and alone.

Someone at that meeting will likely step up and help those people out… that someone could be you.

You don’t have to pay their mortgage, just help them to realize that they’re not alone. Give them some friendly advice, a shoulder to lean on…. take an hour or two to be a part of a team.

You could learn, teach and grow, all the while making friends and maybe even new friends for your children.


So maybe you don’t have a lot of time but you are able to muster $10 or $20 here and there… donate it. Keep the receipts for your taxes.

Charities do some amazing work but they don’t do it all on their own. They need donations from people like you and me to fund the work they do.

Also, no matter how hard you have it, there is always someone or an entire family out there that has it worse. Those people struggle far more than you or I could even imagine and they need support far beyond what you or I could give them as individuals.

That’s where charities come in. They pool those donations and build valuable support for those families using the donations from us all.

You don’t have to donate hundreds, every little bit helps.

Take part in the events

I mentioned volunteering to help events run smoothly but it’s also just as much of a help to actually take part in the event… like a walk or fundraiser.

The AutismSpeaks Walk for Autism events have proven very successful in raising donations as well as general awareness all over the world. And all you have to do is walk.

Several other charities and even just local businesses and people right in your own city hold events all the time. Find them, get involved. You don’t have to work if you don’t want to. Just be there.

In fact, you don’t really even have to be there. Help get the word out about them. Tell friends, post to your social networks…. if you get 2 other people to take part in it, you’ve doubled what you could have done just by being there yourself.

If you do get 2 friends to do it and do it yourself too… well, you can see how something relatively small can grow to something very big and very worthwhile very quickly.

Make up something, do what you do best

As @OperationJack says: “Whatever you do best. For me, unfortunately, that requires running waaaay too much.” He’s a marathon runner. When his son was diagnosed with Autism, he decided to run to raise awareness as well as donations. He ran over 61 marathons in 2010!

Another Twitter member, @invisaWriter suggested: “if you know how to plan a killer party you could do fundraiser dinners, or maybe you can organize boxtops for edu. collections”…  not a bad idea!

Use your strengths… even if what you do has never been used for advocacy or fund raising before, try to put some thought into it. You can make it happen!

We’re all equals

I often marvel at how public speakers can travel the country, helping people all over…. or at book writers who can produce amazing pieces of literature that informs and even inspires.

The truth is though, when it comes to being an advocate, we’re all equals.

From talking to a neighbor about Autism to telling the country on national television, we’re equals. We do the same thing… we inform. We have the same purpose, to inform.

The only number that is important to an advocate is 1. If you can inform 1 person, if you can open the eyes of just 1 person, if you can make just 1 person recognize the difference…. if you can inspire just 1 person to want to make a difference…. you’ve done your job.

Whether you write, speak, walk, donate, volunteer… what ever it is you do, your goal is to reach out to 1 person and have them understand.

If you can do that, do it again and again and again… always aim for 1. Before you know it, you’ll have reached hundreds, maybe even thousands.

Ideas from you

I asked this on several networks, here are some of the responses I received.

Sometimes the most effective thing you can do is just be 'out there':
live your life openly, don't try to hide it or be ashamed of it.
It is what it is. You can also give moral/financial support to
others who can go out and speak, write books, etc.

Answering people's questions as they are asked. Wearing Autism Awareness
stuff, my brother got a tattoo to help raise awareness and has become a
conversation starter...

I've been helping make a local Asperger Support Group for Adults and
Children become a 501(c)(3) organization. A lot of work, but it's so
rewarding when we see the families we help!!

I agree, to speak up when people ask questions, to tell people about your
journey. I have been amazed and overwhelmed how people want to listen, get
involved and even donate money to try to help my son be able to speak! I
used to lock myself away and at one stage became very isolated and
defensive. I turned my life around when I took positive action to raise
awareness of autism and what I'd been going through, people all of a sudden
became understanding, supportive and encouraging! Search for Time to Talk
Liam on Facebook to see what ive been doing. People don't understand,
unless you tell them, it's just not possible for them to understand
without you telling them. I'll keep speaking out for my son, until the day
he is able to speak himself! And even after that too probably!!!

I'm an autism advocate in that I ensure that my daughter gets treated like
everybody else, no matter what I have to do. :)

If there is no local clearinghouse for info on ASD and how to handle,
start one.
Please feel free to share your ideas as well!
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We ask to not be judged and yet…

When I started the project ‘Autism Understanding and Acceptance’, I did it with the intentions of helping those without Autistic children to better understand and accept people with Autism as well as the parents that do have children with Autism.

I knew though, that it also meant doing the same for parents that do have Autistic children. Far too often I’ve seen parents disagree, quite vocally and with much anger, where one has a child with Aspergers or “high functioning” Autism and the other has a child that is far lower on the spectrum, much more severe (nonverbal, not toilet trained, etc.).

A recent news story

This morning, I saw this news story where a woman abandoned her 10 year old, severely Autistic son to a hospital. He was just left there to wander the halls. When they found him and talked to her, it turned out that she was bi-polar, unemployed, has 2 other children, going through a divorce and being evicted.

Along with the story were a lot of comments, including extra comments from those who posted it on Facebook and so forth. Some were with some level of understanding while most were very judging…. some were even full of a lot of hate.

So I copied the link and shared it in a couple of places, asking what people thought… and one such place was my Autism Understanding and Acceptance fan page. I picked this place in particular for a reason.

The authorities press no charges, her peers do

In the article, it states that the authorities are not pressing charges. They are instead, focusing on the child and making sure that he gets the help and care he needs.

Parents on the other hand, not all, were pretty quick to pass judgment. Many stating “you just dont leave your kids” and “our kids aren’t throw-aways”.

Many parents, feeling for the child, imagine his loss, his confusion… he no longer has any semblance of his past routine, he no longer knows anyone at all and he no longer knows where he is. He must feel terrible and afraid.

How quick we are to judge

less judgingThe truth is though, that not one of us has walked a mile in her shoes. The truth is, not one of us knows her story, his story or what preceded that day.

The article tries to paint the picture with a quick list, as I did above (eviction, divorce, unemployed, etc) but that only gives us an idea.

The fact is that we don’t know how hard it really was for her, we don’t know for how long she struggled with this decision, who she talked to about it, what advice she was given, what her other choices were (or weren’t).

For that matter we don’t know what other assistance she tried to receive. Did she exhaust all of her financial options (there’s not always a lot of support from the government if you’re unemployed), did she exhaust all the options her local charities/groups could afford her? Did she get turned away from medical facilities for having no insurance or even for having her own disorder (bi-polar) to contend with?

We all know how hard it can be to get proper services and yet we’re quick to suggest that it would have been so simple for her to have the resources handed to her to avoid her having to resort to abandonment.

When you’ve met one child with Autism….

Another truth is, we don’t know just how hard it really was. I know it’s hard raising my 2 boys, one with Autism (not severe) and one without. This woman had 3 children… and one had severe Autism.

And in our minds, we can picture that… but some small part must also be saying “I don’t really know because I’ve never met him.” The reason for this is that it’s exactly what we tell teachers, doctors, professionals, other parents and everyone else when they tell you “I know what it’s like”…  no, they don’t, because each child is different.

Furthermore, each parent is different. Some people simply aren’t good parents. Some people are really NOT good with special needs children. Not everyone has the same patience, tolerance, understanding, stress, anxiety and coping levels that we might have.

Would I have been able to do better than her? Would I still be caring for that little boy? I’d like to think I could but you know what, I can’t say that. I can’t possibly know.

My children aren’t like hers. My situation isn’t like hers. My life isn’t like hers.

Understanding and Acceptance

It’s not exactly hypocritical but it’s pretty close, to judge this woman harshly and then ask others not to judge us.

When my son hits the floor at the grocery store, kicking and screaming, I deal as best I can but most likely I’m just paying the cashier to get us out of there. Other parents judge me. I can see it, I can hear it, I can feel it. And I hate it.

I make a very conscious and concerted effort to not judge others in the same way. When I see a screaming child, I look at the parent and smile. They know I’m thinking “It’s ok.. don’t worry about it.”

This situation is far more extreme but it’s no less different. We can not ask for others not to judge us all the while quickly, and vocally, judging another parent at the first media story we read of her.

Media stories seldom tell the whole story, media stories rarely are as accurate as they should be. But even still, from this media I can take a few points:

  • The child was 10 years old. That means that for 10 long years, she did her very best. She tried for everything she was worth and probably made huge sacrifices. Who knows how much the other 2 children missed out on while that boy needed so much attention. She didn’t just throw her hands up and give up on her first day.
  • We don’t know how hard it was. The article doesn’t say she was crying, but it doesn’t say she wasn’t sad about it either. It was very likely, one could assume, that it was a very very hard decision for her. After 10 long years, giving everything she had, she had to give him up and hope for the best.
  • She could have done far better than leaving him to just wander a random hospital but she could have also done much worse, take Casey Anthony’s story for example.

I would never give up my children but it doesn’t take a lot of television watching to realize that not everyone is parenthood material. Not everyone that has children should have children. And many of those people recognize that. It might not be right, but I can respect that. If they’re willing to do their best, and fail, and admit that they can’t do it.. I’d rather they gave up that child.

Adoption agencies are there for a reason. You can judge a person for giving up their child but for some people, they just have to. They aren’t you. The child may very well be better off with someone else than with a parent that only pretends to be a good parent… someone that may end up hating that child enough to do harm.

A person that snaps is a dangerous person. People can be pushed over the edge and that edge isn’t the same distance for everyone.

As part of understanding and acceptance, I recognize that not everyone can raise a special needs child. Not everyone can live through the same stresses that I can. Not everyone has it as easy or as hard as I do. And no one… not one person, is the same as me or my child.

Maybe I don’t always understand and maybe I can’t always accept… but that doesn’t give me the right to judge.

Understanding and Acceptance isn’t reserved for those without special needs children. I think we all could do with a little more of it.


Update 10:26am: This news piece shows the mother in court, explaining why she did it: http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21004795218839/

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