Sunday, June 10, 2012

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We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

I have a lot of phone calls late at night with other special needs parents in various states. They are friends of mine, and we talk frequently, and at some length. We talk about everything under the sun. We see each other online in various support groups, on facebook, and on twitter. Most of us are bloggers. Some are not. But the thing that brought us together in the first place was the fact that we are all parents of at least one special needs child. It doesn't matter what the diagnosis for our children is. We are all doing the "long, hard journey without a map" thing.

We laugh together. We cry together. We curse at the powers that be. We rant about lack of services, clueless school districts/teachers/principals/doctors/therapists/neighbors. We rejoice when one of our children makes progress. We send birthday greetings, and  "I'm rapidly losing my mind!" texts. We know that it may take hours for a text to get a response, and we understand. We are family, though we may not have ever met in person, we are family. We understand, and we empathize. Because we are all traveling without a map. I am no different than many,many MANY special needs parents who seek online support and understanding and reassurance.

But invariably there is drama. One person loves Autism Speaks, another foams at the mouth if Autism Speaks is mentioned even in passing. Someone supports a fraudulent iPads for Special Needs Kids organization, many others despise the lies and the schemes. The drama grows to a point at which the closeness is lost. The friendship is gone. It doesn't matter anymore that the parents met in the first place because of their children. It doesn't matter that the goals are the same, though the methods are not.

Suddenly, the support and friendship and reassurance of yesterday becomes today's sworn enemy. That begs the question, "Why can't we all just get along?" Regardless of whether my child's autism is genetic or a vaccine injury, we both have children with autism. Regardless of which organizations you support and which you publicly shun, we're all in this together.. doing the very best we know how to get our kids what they need.

People are shuttling back and forth between support groups, joining this one, banning that one, tweeting threats, taking screen shots, is it all worth it? In some cases, where crimes are committed, yes. It's worth it. But in general, if it's just a case of disagreement between parents.. WHY? What is the point? Why??? Seriously. I need to know. What is the purpose? It's getting ridiculous, and it's ruining the sense of community.
video via Youtube. Because you know, that wasn't obvious at all.

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