Posts Tagged With: autism

Open letter to Rush Limbaugh

On Facebook, I found this link.

I got so upset that I just had to write. And here’s what I wrote: an email to Rush Limbaugh.

I am very upset. No…I am pissed off and angry.
I read a transcript of your May 27th thing on The Hunger Games. Now, let me be crystal clear: I am 23 years old and I love The Hunger Games series. The last chapter in Mockingjay is one of my very favorite passages in literature; it has gotten me through a really rough period in my life where I was struggling with depression.
So, The Hunger Games is very near and dear to me.
For the love of God, do your research. Read the book, watch the movie. At least try to be objective.
Or don’t. Whatever. The Hunger Games is fiction…beautiful, powerful, moving and brilliant fiction…but fiction nonetheless. I can shrug and move on. Your opinions on a favorite book do not affect my life in the slightest. Your misinformed comments on Aspergers do.
You see, my brother has Aspergers.
He’s also one of the smartest, strongest and compassionate people I know. He’s come far in his life and he’s had to do it against a world of ignorance and arrogance. Rather like what I found on your show.

People with Aspergers are real. They are human, they have feelings and THEY deserve more than a “whatever it is” from you.
So here are some basic facts you could have picked up from a five minute Google quiz…because God forbid you have to exert yourself.
Aspergers is a pervasive developmental disorder that is, by the way classified on the Autism Spectrum. Not similar: on the same spectrum. It is NOT a disease. It is NOT terrible. And just in case you didn’t get it: Aspergers is NOT a disease. You can’t catch it or cure it. There’s nothing to cure: it’s a difference in brain-wiring.

Saying “They can’t function…It doesn’t take much to have them just go off, and so you have to kid glove everybody. It’s terrible…” is terribly offensive. It’s offensive because it is inaccurate and gives a a false picture of Autism to the world.
While it is true that people with Aspergers are prone to meltdowns (the technical term for what you called “just going off”), these are always a reaction to overstimulation.
And people with Aspergers, with autism…they see the world in relentless high-definition. They see all the details, all the time; they can’t “turn it off” like neurotypical (you’d probably say normal) people can.
Can you really judge them for their meltdowns?
Kid gloves, you say? How about trying a little compassion, Rush? Try putting yourself in their shoes…do a little research. You don’t even have to get off your ass to do it! Just type “Aspergers, autism” into your Google search bar. Then here’s the hard part: read the information. Try to understand it.
Your show reaches millions…that’s an audience I’ll never have. You could do so much good for autism…but if you aren’t willing to do that, do me a favor and please God don’t broadcast misinformation and hasty conclusions on a national platform.
You have no idea how much damage that can do to the lives of people affected by autism.

Categories: ordinary life, Writing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

INFP, part 3: crusades

One of the most distinguishing facets of us INFPs is our “crusades” or “causes”. Or, as some people refer to them, our “pet projects”.
I dislike this term excessively. I think it cheapens the importance our causes play in our lives. My causes are not cute little quirks that others humor; they are not futile gestures I indulge in, sucking up energy that should be reserved for more practical things…like making money.
No, no, no. Without my crusades, I am not a whole person. Without a cause to champion, I am only directionless empathy, and I cannot dream like I was meant to.
I am not a “gentle warrior” when it comes to my crusades; while gentleness might be my signature in every other part of my life, it has no place in this part. These crusades touch the foundations of our values…mess with them and you’ll found out just how much backbone an INFP’s got. We tend to hide it under a veil of politeness and sensitivity, but make no mistake. It’s there. And disrespecting our core values and crusades with bring down upon you all the wrath, assertiveness and aggression you thought we didn’t have.
Just because we reserve our energy does not mean we’ve got a limited supply. We will not back down from defending our crusades…you might as well ask me to stop breathing, because that’ll happen first.

My crusades are widespread, but they all fall under the umbrella of the “those that have been told they’re not good enough.” I have a big issue with ANYBODY being degraded and told that they are “less than human”. While the Holocaust may be the first thing that springs to mind, evil isn’t always obvious or marked with a swastika.
Bullying, ignorance, prejudice, neglect, “stick ’em in an institution” mentalities…they all attempt to chip away at the humanity of those who are different, those that often lack a voice to speak for themselves.

Autism, Down’s syndrome, dementia, mental disabilities, developmental disorders. More than I can list. You’re people too. Saying so doesn’t make it so, because you had it all along. But if you ever need a little help getting the respect you deserve, I’m here to shout from the rooftops.

I raise my voice for all those who have been told that theirs is not worthy of attention because they are not “normal’. To the schoolyard bully, the people who talk over my brother, internet commenters who think differences are diseases, those who take advantage of the elderly, I say this:
“Life isn’t normal. There’s no such thing. A ‘perfect’ society of ‘normal’ people would be perfectly boring. I won’t live in that world.
The old man who can’t string five coherent words together, he is worth something to this world. The girl who can’t verbalize her thoughts, she is not an overgrown baby…she is a person with complex thoughts and emotions. Those who thought-processes work differently than you, who perceive the world in relentless high-definition, they don’t need an attitude adjustment. Well, they do. Yours.
None of these people are deadweight. None of these people are worthless or even worth less than a normally functioning person. Like the rest of the 7 billion people on this planet, they are human, with all that that entails. They are the Image of God…and not a distorted image either. Remember this: they might not have your attention, but they’ve got God’s ear. And, for what it’s worth, they’ve got my voice.”

This is why I am a certified nursing aide. This is why I am a writer.

This is my crusade. You’ve been warned. Either get out of the way or get onboard.

Categories: CNActivist, INFP, ordinary life, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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