A headline in today’s Toronto Star is another reminder of how some people see kids on the autism spectrum:
Last week a similar story about the Maeng family in New Brunswick was more dire. They were going to be deported after living and working in Canada for 8 years. All because CIC decided their 14 year old son would be a burden on the health and social networks. Thankfully, the New Brunswick government communicated to the federal government that they do not see a burden when it comes to kids on the spectrum.
I can understand completely that a bureaucrat having to make a decision about who stays in Canada or who goes, who becomes a citizen and who doesn’t, is all a matter of looking at the rules. It is easy to blame the people who make decisions like this, but it is not where the blame should be placed.
This is about how autistic and aspie kids are viewed. Our society sees the repetitive gestures, the speech challenges, the lack of eye contact, the awkward social interactions. We may also believe that they can be sometimes adorable, sometimes chaotic characters like we see in movies or on tv.
Somewhere we lose the ability beyond April and Autism Awareness Month or Day to influence how politicians and senior bureaucrats will view the contributions of kids like mine.
If we need any proof that politicians don’t all get that our kids have potential, we only need to look back the to recent federal election where a re-elected government member called parents of asd kids a special interest. I didn’t even know any one still used that term, but I am horrified that someone who believes that was elected for any post in this country.
My argument is that political leaders at all levels fail to enact policies that value people with autism. Whether it’s Citizenship & Immigration at the national level or uneven and lengthening wait times for kids to get IBI in the province of Ontario, it is a horrible message that is being given to Canadians about our kids.