Thursday, August 03, 2006

Combatting the "Combatting Autism Act"

I came across this post from a week ago at Kassiane's site:
about the "Combatting Autism Act". I'm grateful to have been made aware of just how far this travesty has gone. I followed the links in the post & sent the following modified message to both of my senators:

I urge you to not support S. 843, the Combating Autism Act of 2005, when it comes before the U.S. Senate in the coming weeks. This legislation, while it is important in awareness, is not conducive to supporting the individual with autism. Instead, it could lead to the continued devaluation of the lives of autistic persons.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects an individual in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children and adults with autism are often unable to communicate, have difficulty with social interaction, and, in some cases, may be aggressive or self-injurious. However, autistics are people with the right to choose to remain who we are. In other words, people with autism should have the same inalienable rights as any other citizen of this country without the fear of being oppressed for their differences. We do not "fight" people of other races or religions, & I think that the language used in this act is an act of aggression in itself.

Despite the serious physical, emotional, and economic impact of autism, there is still much we don't know about this serious condition. Autism is often undiagnosed, leading to significant delay in treatment and intervention. However, we believe this legislation is not the route we need to take in order to counteract the ignorance abound in the country.

The Combating Autism Act is a critical piece of legislation that addresses this problem by authorizing more than $1 billion in federal funding for autism related research, early detection, and intervention, but does absolutely nothing for awareness in American Society. A revised plan of action for this legislation needs to be made in order for it to benefit the autistics currently in society, instead of merely being a tool of those seeking to eradicate the possibility of people with autism being born. By curing autism, there would be a loss of an abundance of creative and unique individuals that contribute to the greater good of society, each in their own ways, whether or not it is acknowledged is another matter entirely. Speaking personally, I cannot imagine life without my child with autism & would never choose a life without him. No matter what he does with his life, he has already enriched the lives of those who know him. I write about our family life in a blog called "Life in the New Republic" (

In light of these concerns, I beg you to reconsider supporting this act if you already do so. No justification can be made for combatting members of our society whose only crime has been to be born with identifiable differences.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Lisa M. Gwinner

If you are concerned, please follow the links & let your representatives know how you feel. Thanks!


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