This blog is Laura’s brainchild and I want to keep it as/in her voice. But she did invite me (I’m Brad’s dad – Laura’s husband - btw) to write something from time to time, so here goes.
I haven’t reacted to Brad’s diagnosis like Laura, mostly because I honestly felt it coming. Finally hearing it was sad and disappointing, but really not all that shocking to me. Plus, Brad seems happy for now, and what else can you wish for in a 2 year old? I love Brad unconditionally – that was one of the first promises I made to myself when I became a dad. I hope that he goes off the spectrum eventually, but I’m prepared to accept it if he doesn’t.
I applaud those like Laura who have chosen to use cyberspace to provide a candid voice and share their experiences, since for now it seems like people who turn the Internet on a quest to find solace and answers instead all too often encounter anger and those either with an agenda or who are in search of someone to blame. I can’t even pretend to be experiencing the autism-related hardships that some people are, but still I wonder what’s going through their heads. Perhaps they’re frustrated by not having answers or overwhelmed by having to tend to the needs of their dependent kids and the prospect of doing so for many, many years to come? It seems like they’re more angry and vocal than those who were proven to have developed lung cancer due to smoking or asbestos exposure. Maybe somehow knowing the cause of something for sure makes the news easier to bear, whereas the uncertainty leads to curiosity, then to speculation and ultimately to unsupported conclusions. I also think the anonymity of the internet is a contributing factor, since it magnifies emotions and fuels fires like these.
At some point I think there will be a breakthrough relating to autism that will provide hope where there previously was none, but I see that happening, if at all, in spite of, not due to the actions of the zealots of today.