15 August 2008

Here We Go Again!!

This news article briefly discusses those horrible parents who take an autistic kid out and then expect everyone to bend over backwards for him. (Yeah...) Jason Goldtrap thinks his brother ought to put his child away and he's not afraid to tell the national media as much:

“I certainly sympathize with all the families who are in this situation,” Goldtrap said. “But when we got away from the concept of institutionalization in America, we lost an important element of trying to maintain civility. There is a place for mental institutions.”


OK, we should institutionalize people, never so that they can get specialized help or because they lack understanding about cars and the like and are therefore dangerous etc., but rather so that we can be a *civil* society? Maybe we should sterilize them while we're at it and make that train of thought pull into the appropriate depot. Toot-toot!

Heaven forbid the fellow shoppers at TJ Maxx have to see some guy walking all funny and making weird sounds in the men's department. What's wrong with this picture that the fellow came off saying such a thing??? No one says that about Down Syndrome kids anymore... but it's ok when we're dealing with autism? I'll disregard for the moment that all "institutions" are not the same and some probably don't deserve the label that smacks of ... you know, "institutions," but do you think this fellow should be quoted as a news source? How did that get past the editor's desk? Please tell me his comments were taken way out of context or that he was misquoted. I'll feel truly sorry for him if he were!

There's a nut in every bunch. Plenty of parents of neurotypical kids let their children act like brats in the grocery store. Imagine yourself with a child five times as difficult to "control," but having half the energy of most parents because your kid is sleep-disordered, too. What does that grocery trip look like now??

But *MOST* people who have autistic children or children with other difficulties are not overeager to foist them onto the world and hear all the "positive feedback" they're sure is forthcoming. (LOL) It's just that every now and then, the groceries need to be bought or the children should be unlocked from the dungeon and brought outside.


I haven't had my children lick 60 Oreos on a table at church as one woman in the article related her son did, but I HAVE opted my children out of things like VBS in the past because that would be "too much." Or I'd realize that the "contemporary" service at a large church is too much. Rock music AND a crowd? Oh, we'll skip that one. Library storytime is one of those things that was hit or miss, but now the older children are a bit too old for it. Movie theatres? Don't go the first day the movie comes out; try for a matinee. Common-sense stuff like that is not always easy, though.

I do think the needs of others need to be considered. But I also think most times, parents are doing the best they can, you know? I find it especially interesting that in the news lately it seems that "dangerous" behaviours are also lumped in with disgusting or inconvenient ones. Looking for feedback from other parents on what you think of this trend in the news... or did I miss something altogether different?


  1. I just saw that article in the paper yesterday. Thought it was very strange.

    Rapists and murderers go free and that is OK. But not a kid who hasn't actually hurt anyone, just is different.

    Very sad!!

  2. See, that's just what *I* thought! I'm not alone, then. The article referenced police being called to Goldtrap's nephew's house, but HELLO, how many drunken brawlers are there out there who are NOT committed and WILL do the same thing 'next time' and we all know it?

    Ya know? Grievous.

  3. Have you noticed that autism is in the news a LOT lately? It reminds me of ADD/ADHD coming to the fore about a decade ago. I only hope that with recognition will come understanding.

  4. I read this article too and I just felt defeated. The truth is that people are more understanding of atypical neurological development when the person looks different, as in the case of Down's Syndrome. No one expects "normal" behavior. People look at Marissa and believe she looks "normal" and their expectations are much different. It is sad that we don't see accomodating different brains in the same light we see accomodating a person in a wheelchair ~ something we wouldn't think twice about doing and would think a business or church that wasn't providing accomodations was negligent.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)