Autism Watch: 2007

My son was kidnapped? Why haven’t I noticed?

Posted on: December 17, 2007

Anyone active in autism awareness has heard about his offensive and inaccurate ‘public service’ campaign, being run by the NYU’s Child Study Center. And this group supposedly has the best interest of children at its heart? And they are ‘professionals’ in child study and care? “Giving back children their childhood” is a slogan on their site. How does this campaign even begin to accomplish that? To me, it’s just ironic. But I digress.

To start, check out the details: Ransom Notes Campaign

My first question, one of many: to what public does this campaign serve? Not me or anyone I know. I don’t want my child stigmatized by the ignorant any further than he already is. I also don’t want him considered to have a ‘mental health’ disorder. I already have enough of a hassle getting funding for much-needed programs.

My second question: since when is autism a psychiatric disorder? (Again, I say, this is being stated by a center that supposedly helps children? They don’t even appear to know their medical diagnoses well.) Autism is a neurological disorder. A neurological disorder that has actual and real physical manifestations/symptoms.

My third question: if my child is kidnapped, who is here in my house cuddling with me in the morning, telling me he loves me, and giving me a 30-minute dissertation on the assets of all 300+ Pokemon? This is a child who is a hostage to a psychiatric disorder? Wow, maybe I should give myself up to be kidnapped, too.

This whole ‘public service’ campaign reeks of ignorance and sensationalism to get attention. The intention to shock is over the top and unnecessary. What a ginormous waste of time and money, even if it is being handled pro bono. Why not spend that time and money on getting help for those children, instead of telling people to seek help, when that help is completely and totally difficult to get?

Granted, if 1 in 94 boys were being kidnapped, someone would do something about it. But, 1 in 94 boys get autism and we’re still floundering on long waiting lists for programs, paying for attorneys to fight for things to help our child, and fighting with dareisayit, uneducated ‘professionals’ in the school and medical system who don’t know squat about autism as it is. So is “kidnapped” supposed to get attention? And if so, whose?

I’ve learned over the years that not all publicity is good publicity. There are indeed many forms of PR out there that can harm something and cause even more misunderstanding and problems than already existed, and this campaign is one of them.

1 Response to "My son was kidnapped? Why haven’t I noticed?"

[…] Planet Is It Anyway? (who points out connections with the ad campaign to Autism Speaks). Donna at Autism Watch 2007 notes that it is kind of off to hear that her son was “kidnapped” as she hadn’t […]

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