Sunday, October 08, 2006

Autism Community - Can We Really Change Anything?

CEO Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farms (the organic yogurt company) said something that grabbed me in a recent Business Week article. "The only way to influence the powerful forces in this industry is to become a powerful force."

To change a powerful group, we must become a powerful group. Many powerful groups came to mind as I read this. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the NIH, the CDC, the FDA, political parties to name a few. The fact that the Autism community fights among one another makes me sick to my stomach. What we COULD do if we only became a powerful force.....


Terri Lewis said...

Hi! I'm a mom with three kids, one of whom is pretty much recovered from his autism. . .what a nightmare trip it was, and how great it is to see my kid turning into himself! (Like you said--if you take the disability out of autism, you're just left with different. . .and different can be so cool!)

I like your concept of "hidden recovery," but wanted especially to comment on your quote here: "The only way to influence the powerful forces. . .is to become a powerful force."

It would be better if everyone in the "autism community" (and there is and isn't such a thing because we are so very divided)--it would be better if we could stand on our common ground and unite. . .


even without uniting--

even without seeing eye-to-eye on everything--

we can still be powerful.

Personally, I'm fighting mostly to get the mercury out of our medicine (yes, mostly vaccinations) but I also know the power of some newer therapies (RDI, for example) and try to enlighten people when I can that ABA isn't their only option.

Here's another way to look at changing things:

I'm a tiny drop of water. There are other drops of water rushing more or less in the same direction. Without talking, without a great plan, we move as we are compelled to do and erode the largest and hardest of rocks--the ignorance and denial surrounding us!

I'm old enough to remember lead--in paint, in gasoline--and the devastating consequences. Mercury is, it seems, an even more formidable foe. It's been used so freely, in so many ways, despite our knowledge of its dangers--it's been called "our favorite poison."

Keep on keeping on.

Take the next step and the next, as you feel moved to take them--we are already making a difference.

Terri Lewis

Ashley loves Leo said...

Hi Terri. Thanks for your insightful comments. I really liked your drop of water analogy. True true true. I'm happy to know there's yet another parent, many of us that I've been fortunate to have met, that are drops of water.

One person at a time. It's all I can do and offer at this point, since my son's needs come first. Recently, I found out that a good friend (that doesn't know about Leo's past and isn't an Autism mom) has gone organic whole foods due to our conversations over the last two years. I consider this a great victory! A step toward greater awareness about what's going on with our planet.

I've had great success pointing parents in viable directions thru my main site. Thanks again for your writing!