An Interview that Could Have Educated Went Horribly Wrong

About a month ago, I was contacted through my pet business email about an interview with The Today Show for a written article about autistic parents perceptions about videos being posted of meltdowns. I showed the email to my good friend, Emma Dalmayne and we both agreed this would be a great opportunity to educate the public. I had never had a bad experience interacting with the press until now. The reporter misrepresented herself. 

We scheduled time to talk on the phone. I did it right after work one day, and lately my schedule had been full. She HAD to do it on a Thursday which is a scout night but I had to force myself to do it. We were on the phone for over an hour. She wanted to know who were my biological children and who weren't, like that matters. I view all my children equally. 

Then we were talking about things like Identity first language, being supported, neurodiversity, fake cures that I am fighting and ABA. I took the time to explain our point of view. She then asked me how I knew so much about it. I went into detail about my personal experience and explained why it was harmful. I reopened a wound that will never close in hopes to educate the public. I was hopeful she would see how harmful it is. 

It took weeks for the article to be published and I was anticipating the good work it would do. 

It was released the day before Roo's Bar Mitzvah. I needed a few days to process this article. 

When I clicked the link I saw all the people we have been fighting:

Finding Cooper's Voice

The Aspies World

Eileen Lamb

NCSA

I immediately had a bad taste in my mouth. They of course made themselves the victim and concentrated on "severe" for most of their interview. They were angry at the neurodiversity movement. 

My quotes explained why we feel the way I feel. I did not seem angry which worked in our favor. 

The anti ND movement did not like that I was included. I got thier attention, so that was a positive.

A lot of people also assumed I am from European decent, which I am not. I am middle eastern, so I want to get that out of the way. 

They did not use ANY of my ABA experience. I felt so violated and dismissed. I was mislead and manipulated in letting myself be vulnerable. I know I didn't know the reporter's agenda but I feel partially responsible for this. If I knew this is what it was going to be I would have never agreed. I have been used at the hands of people who knew what they were doing and this is not ok. I just need to processed this feeling of being violated and I will be ok. 


Autism wars: Why parents and autistic adults are battling

Autism terms: Words that can be considered insensitive and why

Comments

  1. Sending you gentle hugs.

    Those spouting the tragedy narrative will trample over anyone to get the attention they crave.

    I hope Roo's (great name 😉) Bar Mitzvah went well.

    Just remember that some will have read the article and taken some positives from your words. X

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  2. As I was reading the article I was actually thinking - I wonder how much of this is the reporter's own spin. So your meaning came through. I'm so glad you posted this response, and I hope you're feeling much better.

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