Sunday, April 17, 2011

Autism not real?

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How is everyone doing? I pray that everyone finds this blog in good health and spirits. Everything out here is going good. I have been on Werner's Dollar General account for about three days. They are short of drivers for this account and so they moved me to it temporary. It is OK. Lots of work since the driver has to unload the freight himself. But, it is supposed to bring in more money. We will see.

I got some bad news today. My father in New York isn't doing so well. He has had cancer for some time now and from what I understand, he had to be put on oxygen last night. Paula and I are now working out some details to try to make it up to New York so we can see him. I will call my dispatcher Monday and see about taking a few extra days off to get up there.

For obvious reasons I couldn't get any sleep, so I went into the truck stop to eat at the restaurant. When I sat down at the counter (where the truck drivers usually eat and talk) there where some truck drivers talking about Autism. I caught the conversation but wasn't paying much attention. My mind was on other things. But when one truck driver said, "Autism really doesn't exist. It is just one of many diseases made up to excuse bad parents," my attention snapped to the conversation. I looked at the driver, smiled, and said, "Awe, you ignorant. Bless your heart." Everyone at the counter (except the driver I was speaking to) busted out laughing. The driver asked me, "You think autism is real?" I told him that I know it is real. I then asked him what type of punishment does a parent administer to their baby when the baby doesn't look mom in the eyes? I didn't have to force our oldest daughter to look us in the eye. What punishment does a parent administer when I toddler doesn't pick things up and put it in his/her mouth? Most parents have to work to keep their child from putting things in their mouth. What punishment does a parent have to administer when a child doesn't speak at all? I didn't teach our oldest daughter to speak, she just started speaking and now we have trouble turning her off. What punishment does a parent have to administer to stop a child from stimming? Our oldest daughter doesn't stim. What punishment does a parent have to administer to get a child to realize that he/she isn't alone in the world when it seems that child doesn't even see or hear anyone in the room? Our oldest daughter is eager to play and interact with others. After I made these statements I think the people at the counter, even the waitress, realized that one of my children has autism because it was quiet. The man who had claimed that autism didn't exist said he was sorry but I told him not to be sorry and in fact, I thanked him. What he said is what a lot of us think about certain things without really doing the research. Before we draw conclusions, we really should do the research so that we are not speaking in ignorance. He is right about some of what he said. We are quick to call something a disorder just because it isn't what we call "normal" behavior. But that doesn't mean that we should call everything that isn't a physical disorder non-existent. When I was done eating I went to the restroom and then went to the store to get something to drink. As I walked up to the register, I noticed the man who said that autism wasn't real. He was at the register writing on something as he was checking out. I went to the register as he finished and he saw me. He smiled and told me to say "hi" to my child. I told him I would and thanked him. After he left I saw what he was was righting on. He wrote his name on a "autism speaks" donation card. Thank you sir.

The Oklahoma Tomcat
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