Friday, December 18, 2009

How the Grinch Tried to Steal Autistic Self-Advocacy

Each autistic person deserved life a lot...
But the Grinch, who lived outside of Reason,
Thought NOT!
The Grinch hated autism, every season
He liked to chelate cats and give dogs HBOT.

He thought all he could with his tiny green head
About how to prove they’d be better off dead
Until it occurred to him how to derail
Every self-advocate, make them all FAIL.
He talked and he talked about bad heavy metals
And fed every child only dandelion petals,
For surely the gluten contained in their snacks
Was causing the tantrums and nasty head whacks.

It wasn’t enough to define a disease
To diagnose those whose behavior displeased.
He had to make progress in shutting up those
Who saw through the lies he was sure they’d expose.

For every last one
who might dare denounce
Judge Rotenburg Center,
On each one he’d pounce.
He’d call them all liars
And Not Like My Child,
He’d scoff at their problems
And say they were “mild.”

He’d call them all ignorant, cruel and bitter,
Mock them on Facebook and flame them on Twitter.
When all were distracted defending themselves
The Grinch would be ready to work with his elves.

For each child who head banged or never did speak
He’d build a new center for shocking those freaks.
In every last schoolhouse, in every last town
He’d build rooms for locking and tying kids down.
In case the adults thought they’d be off the hook,
He’d tell all employers “Don’t bother to look”
At job seekers bringing a parrot along,
People like that have no right to belong.

But the really Big_plan that made the Grinch smile
Was much worse than HBOT, far worse than chelation,
His true goal was more than a little bit vile,
This Grinch, he was hell bent on eradication.

He'd make videos for Autism Speaks
About how the lives of autistics are bleak,
About the great burden we place on the others,
Moms, dads, aunts, uncles and sisters and brothers,
Surely the public would now buy his answer
To autism, so much more awful than cancer.

More money was needed, he hastened to warn
To keep any more of us from being born.
The only thing stopping him from the foul deed
Was that self advocates weren’t as na├»ve
As clueless professionals claimed in their scorn.

No longer would anyone listen or heed
The derailing tactics, they'd no longer plead
With bigots to understand they had a right
To speak up and take part in everyone’s fight.

From that moment on whenever they heard
"You’re not quite autistic,"
They just said “Absurd!”
The right to protest isn’t based on such stuff
As who can speak well or who seems like a nerd.
It’s more fundamental, this point the Grinch missed:
We’re human. We all have the right to exist.


  1. Brilliant!

    Perfect timing, too. I just got MAJORLY flamed on Twitter today for trying to talk to the father of an autistic kid. He said we (his kid and I) should be cured. I told him that telling me that was offensive, as it implied there's something wrong with me. He went off on me saying that I couldn't speak for his son and I'm not autistic enough to speak for others with autism (I'm actually fairly low functioning for AS).

    Anyway, it's the first time it's ever happened to me, and I'm still a bit shocked. I don't understand how anyone can act like that.

  2. Big_fave.

    (Verification: mosesse)

  3. Also! Squawkers! Sinister! My my!

  4. This is... just awesome. I don't know what else to say, really.

  5. Hahahaha!

    @ Jaden, the Grinch says you're never autistic enough to speak for autism.
    Don't ever say you are, or the Grinch will ask you if you smear poop, 'cos the Grinch likes to humiliate autistics, and anyways you can type, it's prove that you're not autistic. Or something.

  6. Eek! That spooky pic could use a disclaimer that no parrots were harmed in the making of this post.

    Although I'd like to think that Suzanne Wright's heart might eventually grow a few sizes larger like the Grinch's did, I must say I'm not optimistic in that regard.

  7. Kowalski's comment makes me envision a demonstration in which autistics smear psuedo-poop (chocolate custard, perhaps) messages on the facades of buildings housing certain organizations, saying things like, "Look, we're smearing it, will you now listen please?"

  8. Surely that can't be Squawkers in the photo? Dear, sweet Squawkers!

  9. abfh and Andrea S.

    I promise, no parrots were harmed. I was just fooling around, dressing up as the enemy for fun!I'm not the real Grinch. I told Bev to tell you that.

    Thank you,

    S. McCaw

  10. Merry Christmas, Bev and Squawkers! And thanks for another funny, intelligent year at Asperger Square 8.

  11. Heck, if Charlie Chaplin could play Monsieur Verdoux, then surely Squawkers can have a bit of fun playing the Grinch.

    Squawkers, you really Bested that role... (ya done it Wright...)
    [grinning and ducking incoming crackers and other projectiles]

  12. I agree, just brilliant! You tagged all the bases, made all the points.

  13. Just adding my kudos! I thank you for speaking up for my non-verbal son.

  14. HaHA! Very clever and very excellent! Brava!

  15. Great post Bev. The worst part about conversations with real-life Grinches is actually when they come up with how expensive care and disability benefits etc. are and how much cheaper we would be if we got cured (assuming those autistics who are in care and on disability). Since I last got a comment along these lines, I've been sort of obsessively trying to locate care prices, so that I can check how much I cost the Dutch taxpayers, and feeling a little guilty over the fact my care funding was just increased (in a year of major budget cuts). So your point about we all being human and all having the right to exist, is appreciated.

    @ Kowalski: you are only not autistic enough if you can type that you don't want a cure. The real-life Grinches I know online, actually are quite happy to poster puppet autistic adults who demonstrate the same typing skills we're discredited for, but who want a cure.

  16. Fabulous...and very, very clever;)) xx Jazzy

  17. This was awesome. Such a powerful message presented in an entertaining way. I sent out a tweet to all my Twitter followers telling them they need to check out your blog. Keep up the good work.

  18. Wow. That was intense. You are so talented.

  19. What a clever way to post a fantastic message that so many of the "cure" types just don't get! Loved it!

  20. This was a fantastic example of creativity with some zing! I love it!!!

  21. Oh, this is too funny. I'd love to show this to some crazy parents I know.

  22. Bravo! Amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  23. That was absolutely beautiful. Excellent poetry and even more excellent message.


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