Friday, August 14, 2009

Could We Have A Little Originality, Please?

So, we're driving through Lancaster County, PA looking for our motel, and Liz says "I thought they got rid of those signs."

I look up to see the above billboard, and instantly realize that although similar in tone to the famed Ransom Notes campaign, was not part of it. After verifying that the kids are both engrossed in watching something on the DVD (I'd really rather NOT have them exposed to such trash), I pulled over to snap a picture.

"No, I explained to Liz, it appears to be a cheap knock-off of that other campaign."

Whether the York, PA ASA is trying to piggy back on what they perceived as a successful campaign, or whether they're just ignorant and the whole "kidnapped/changeling/this isn't my child" thing just resonates with them, I just wish they'd show a little originality, and spend the time to create more original demeaning signs.

My son deserves better than re-hashed crap.


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

We all do, Joe. Amen.

Casdok said...

Am glad your kids didnt see it.

kathleen said...

They are ignorant. No person needs to see garbage and misinformation such as that. I too am glad your kids didn't see it. These things make me fume.

Anonymous said...

Just stopping by to wave, agree in the main part, laugh about the cow in the last post, and the tacky town before it.

I'm in agreement that these billboards are counter productive, worthy of words I won't use to describe them.


Unknown said...

Man, those ads are annoying!

abfh said...

They never learn, do they?

Although there doesn't seem to be an e-mail address listed on the website, there is a contact form. By now, we all know what to do with 'em.

Thanks for letting us know about this, Joe.

Sadderbutwisergirl said...

Ugh. Not this bullcrap again. The only good that can come of this is that we've already fought this kind of thing and succeeded.
@Casdok and kathleen: While Joe's kids are fortunate enough to have not seen that billboard, just about every school in the United States gets very into this "autism awareness" crap. I know because I've been in the American public school system for the past 9 years and every year, my district has spread "autism awareness" by giving out the old tired statistics of "1 in 166" (This was done for most of the years. Last year, it was "1 in 150") and how "most children with autism never learn how to speak." Autism merchandise, autism funraisers, the works. And all of my cousins who go to other schools have told me about similar campaigns held in their schools. Face it. The only way you can totally protect your children from autism prejudice is to keep them in their homes all their lives and not invite anyone in who has any measure of curebie beliefs. Since this is not really all that possible, the best that can be done is to train this generation of children to advocate for themselves despite the prejudice out there.

abfh said...

Here's their e-mail address as listed on the ASA national website:

Contact person is Amy Wallace.

Club 166 said...

Thanks for that, ABFH.

It does seem quite a shame that many people can't seem to get past this kind of garbage.


Sadderbutwisergirl said...

Mmm-hmm. It sickens me that not only are people unable to get past their prejudices, they have to shove it right where children, some of whom may be autistic can see. Just plain sickening.

John Best said...

Great post. By all means, don't help your children understand that they are victims of the campaign to dumb down the population.
Let them believe that having their brains working at less than normal capacity is normal.

This will let them grow up to be compliant sheeple who will never have the fortitude to question corrupt authority. It will be easy to lead them to slaughter and help reduce the surplus population.

So much for teaching children how to think.

Sharon McDaid said...

Yuk. How can people working for an autism charity possibly think that these are acceptable?

They need to be told.

And yes, our children deserve much better.

Sadderbutwisergirl said...

Sharon, the whole point of the "autism charities" is the wiping out of an 8-figure number population simply because they have an undesirable neurotype and passing it all off as a charitable act that is saving the public health. In the meantime, the autistic community is meant to be treated as second-class citizens and objects of pity while everyone praises the "autism community" of eugenicists for being so charitable. Our children deserve better than this attitude. The only way to solve the problem is for older autistics to mentor the younger autistics and teach them that they are worth more than what the "autism community" of neurobigotry tells them they are. I have mentored my younger siblings and someday, they'll be changing things by offering up a viewpoint contrary to that of curebies.

Anonymous said...

re-read it people; they are actually quoting a parent. replace the word "kidnapped" with "cancer" if that makes it easier for you to understand. They are not comparing having autism to being kidnapped; they are saying that people ignore autism but they wouldn't be ignoring it if it were something different like children being kidnapped. Maybe before you all start lighting your torches and preparing your pitchforks you should find out a bit more about what the group does and what services it provides. Looking at their website & blog they look like a good group that actually does a lot in their community. Spending funds on a billboard shows that they are at least trying to increase awareness. And for what it is worth, I HATE it when people use the word "autistics" as a label; I find it offensive, but I defend your right to say it, if that is what you want.
~mother of a child with autism

Unknown said...

Ugh, this is appalling. I'm going to blog this, if that's okay.

Club 166 said...

Please do, and thanks.

It's not that I don't understand, it's that I do that's the problem. Whether the word is "kidnapped", "cancer" or some other representation of the worst possible horrible thing you can think of, I understand.

I understand that many people feel that they have been robbed of parenting a nice, "normal" child, and that they have been cheated. I understand that not only do they feel that way, but they feel that there's no problem in proclaiming how terrible their life is to anyone who will listen. That doing so in public and in front of their children is just fine for them. Because somehow they just don't get how that *might* just be psychologically damaging to a child who already probably gets bullied and harassed at school. Why should (s)he expect anything different at home?

I frankly don't care how many walks they do, or whatever services they provide. When providing services to any population, there is a basic ethical imperative to start with RESPECT towards those you are serving. Without respect, nothing much else matters.

And the parent that is quoted is Jon Shestak, the founder of Cure Autism Now. He's entitled to his opinion, as I am to mine. I only hope that someday he comes to see how such statements don't make it more likely that his son will be more welcome in the world.


Unknown said...

I've blogged this here: