1.18.2011

Your Child's Not Autistic, You're Just An Attention Whore

*Updates below the post*

Seems to me, this rash epidemic of Autism spreading around our nation has only gotten worse as more attention is placed on these special little kids. In fact, I personally know seven parents/couples who claim their kids have it. Seven. And that's not including people I know through Facebook -- these are real life red-blooded human beings I have face to face conversations with on at least a monthly basis.

One thing all of these parents have in common: they say the words "Autism," "Autistic" or "Special" at least three times in every single conversation about their kid(s). Another thing they all have in common: they're complete attention whores.

Now, I'm not going to outright state that every parent claiming to have an Autistic child is actually just an attenion whore. But given the sampling I have access to, I will say most of them are. You might have a child that's actually autistic, or you may just have a fucking brat who acts out because you're a shitty parent who can't handle raising it and you want the world to know it's not your fault.

Gee, an impossible-to-diagnose condition affecting behavior and intelligence that is not really "retarded" to the point you have to be there with a napkin and restraints every time your kid attempts to eat Cherrios, but is just retarded enough to get you some attention.

Sure, you took little Johnny into the pediatrician to be diagnosed, and sure enough, you got a diagnosis -- just like my mom and every other mom did in the 90's with ADD, and the 80's with hyperactivity. Anything to get you taking more pills. Because Autism can't be medically diagnosed.

And the best part -- this particular form of ailment actually implies your kid is smarter than the average kid, and that's part of why he acts out and you can't control him. You get to be the parent of a top tier intellect without all that actual parenting!

Of course, there is a such thing as Autism. I do believe it's real. And I do believe there are kids who have it. And I do admire the parents who raise such children without making it their sole identity as a person.

But the thing is, it's gotten now so that anytime a kid flings mashed potatoes across a room with a spoon, the kid is suddenly so advanced in intelligence and has a neurological condition that won't allow him to adapt socially with "average children."

In all seven of the cases I mention above, the kids are just plain out of control brats. They know what they're doing. They're mischevious and calculating and getting away with everything because they're "mildly Autistic." I think it's so much more plausible that they're mildly aware of how to be a fucking parent.

And yes, I'm sure they're going to read this, and I'm sure I'm about to become a social pariah at the parents' play groups. But I hated taking my cats to those things anyway.


*Updated 11:36 AM

You know what's sad and funny at the exact same time? The fact that people can't be bothered to read a thing in its entirety. I do know parents with actually Autistic children, and they behave exactly the opposite of screaming brats. It's actually really hurting the reputation of good, honest, hard-working, dedicated parents who actually have children who cannot respond to them emotionally that these attention whores would go and just paste the label du jour over their kid's bad behavior.

But hey, be knee-jerk and reactionary if you want. It doesn't bother me that you, who profess to have known me all this time; who have lauded my attacks against faux Christians and hypocritical Atheists and people who profess not to be racist and then say something horribly racist; all of a sudden get offended when something I say hits too close to home.

I've had two intelligent conversations and no fewer than 15 completely incoherent, rambling conversations about this post this morning, via phone, email and Facebook. The two intelligent conversations? Actual friends, who actually know me, who have actually autistic children, who actually appreciated what I wrote.

The other 15? Who knows, they were too busy listening to themselves to let me get a word in edgewise. And another ~35 whose only response was to send a scathing email and then unfriend me on Facebook or block me on Twitter? Good fucking riddance.

It's really simple: "Parents" are human beings who fucked and had kids. Nothing more, nothing less. What they do as parents mark their quality as parents, nothing more, nothing less. You have a kid? Good -- you also have a responsibility. You have a kid with Autism? Okay, you have even MORE responsibility.

Going around and blabbing about your kid's condition to your social group is the exact same as going around and blabbing about your kid's latest no-hitter in the t-ball game. At the end of the day, you're just a status-seeking person, and your latest badge of honor is your kid's issues.

Of COURSE I don't mean you shouldn't talk about it. You should. You should discuss it and talk it out and all the things that happen when you're with your friends and they ask how your day was. You know the difference. Don't be that person.