Monday, January 22, 2007

Horror where horror is due

Christine at Day Sixty-Seven alerted me to the horror of an article in today's Hollywood Reporter about yesterday's Sundance screening of the Autism Speaks film Autism Every Day. The article opens with this sentence:

The horror films on display at the Sundance Film Festival are nothing compared to every parent's fear that their child could be diagnosed with the mysterious developmental disability called autism.

The statement is so horrifying that I had to read it several times before I could fully grasp its meaning: Was the author really comparing our lives - our children - to a horror movie? Was she honestly asserting that our lives - our children - are "every parent's fear?"

Maybe this sentence blows me away because I've been working so hard to keep an open mind about the "new" Autism Every Day. Or maybe it blows me away because this time of year tends to be difficult for me anyway.

Either way, I'll say this:

Parents, don't waste your fear on autism.

If you must devote energy to fear, use it wisely: fear the death of your child.

I'm not being dramatic here. I know of what I speak. I have a child with autism. I have two children who died.

I will take autism every day.

11 comments:

kristina said...

Horrere is Latin for "to bristle in fear" as in the feeling when your hair stands on end---you're that terrified-----or horrified.

Mike McCarron said...

I hope you can feel my supportive thoughts surrounding you and Bud.

Needless to say, I agree with what you have written and you are a much stronger person than I because you were able to write it.

MOM-NOS said...

Thank you, Mike - though I don't think people come any stronger than you. And I hope you know that Katie was very much on my mind when I wrote this.

kristen said...

What a ridiculous article! You are right. THAT is truly horrible and horrifying. To speak of our beautiful, talent and special children that way! Challenging, yes. Sometimes sad or discouraging, maybe. But to compare our lives to a horror movie is disgusting. That comment is a heck of a lot worse than what some of the moms in the actual film had to say. How dare they!

My thoughts are with you and your family at this tough time of year.

Jannalou said...

Having just lost one of my own 'babies' (one who was, arguably, disabled due to PTSD), I have to concur - I don't see how it is better to have no child or a dead child than a disabled or otherwise damaged child.

kirsten said...

that just makes me mad. my brother is taking a film class where he gets to go to a bunch of sundance films - i don't know if he's seeing that one or not.
i think i hope not.

Jessica said...

I agree, that statement is horrifying. Your comment about parents wasting their time worring about autism is powerful and true. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Christine said...

MOM-NOS, that was just beautiful. I'm so thankful that blogs like yours provide an alternate voice. It is so important!

KAL said...

I am so sorry January is tough for you, I didn't know. I have a lot of "stealth grief" at different times of the year too and the best thing, I think, is to write about it.

I don't fear autism as much as I'm not "speaking to it" right now...

gretchen said...

Love you MOM-NOS. Keep on speaking the truth!

Anonymous said...

I think that, as humans, we have a hard time imagining a situation different than our own, and we react with fear. How horrible would it be to have a child with ___ problem, how horrible it must be to suffer from ___ disease or condition, etc. I really don't believe these comments are meant to belittle or judge the quality of the lives of those people who actually have the "horrifying" condition or situation - they just reveal the person's ignorance. We parents of ASD kids need to be a stronger, counter-active voice, telling the world how wonderful our kids are. (Of course, it is pretty tough to raise money for autism research without scare-tactics, right?) Thanks, MOM-NOS, for being one of those positive voices.