There’s a lot of talk right now about a particular play going on called All in a Row, at Southwark Playhouse in the UK.    Here’s a few articles about it for those of you who haven’t read about it yet.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/12/casting-puppet-as-autistic-child-step-backwards-new-play-row-other-actors-played-by-humans

 

https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2019/protest-takes-place-outside-southwark-playhouse-over-use-of-puppet-in-autism-play/

The premise is based on autism and includes the perspective from the parents POV and the carers perspective of what its like to raise an autistic child.  Doesn’t surprise me the autistic person is portrayed as a puppet in the play.  Portrayed as less than human.  But instead a thing that is to be manipulated under another Persons whim of how and what that puppet or child or adult or human being should be doing, feeling or being.  

There are a few things I find wrong with this:

1) this is already happening as i see it.  In not all cases but certainly many of them our children are diagnosed with autism and we listen to the doctors.  We listen to the therapist.   We listen to other parents who in their desperation to seek out answers for their children are in essence throwing them under the bus when they find no answers.   And so the parents of these children willingly fall into the religion of the woe is me….it’s so hard for me to deal with my autistic child….I am amazing because I do…..martyr moms, that forget the entire point of why they started asking questions in the first place.   Then they start bitching.  Posting videos of their children having personal moments that are not made for the entire world to see all in the name of: does someone know what this is? Yes, I understand.   You are looking for answers.   But these answers are not found by posting your kids world of privacy on the internet for all to see.   They are found by careful research and asking #actuallyautistic people.  Which leads me to another question. 

2) Why is no one asking actually autistic people what they think? Because it is not just what they think.   It is what they KNOW.  They know this already.   They have the answers.   But I know.   It is so much easier to post about what is wrong and whine about it then actually do something about it.   And I dunno.   Maybe learn something? 

Brings me back to this play.  I am finding that lots of people Dislike the whole idea.   Specifically autistic people.   Oh.   But I forgot.  This play isn’t about autistic people right? Isn’t it? Oh no.   Its about the parents.  I forget.   It’s about the caregivers.  Thats right.  Isn’t that what it is always about? Nothing about us without us……have we not learned from this statement yet? No, we are too busy posting meltdowns and memes about “you’re an autism mom if….” which then Follows a million comments, excuse me, insults, of all of their autistic childs “quirks”.  Ya know what.   Those are called differences.   Shame on you people.  Do I make fun of you? Am I making myself clear? This isn’t a Game people. This is the life of another person that you are not including as a part of the conversation…..you are talking about them.   Not with them.   Not to them.   In fact, they have nothing to do with the conversation at all and I’m so sorry you don’t have time to get your nails done on Friday night anymore thats tough as hell.  

Here’s a question.   Why don’t you take that time you spend spouting off your childs voice for them, and actually listen to them speak instead of speaking for them? Why not look into getting some AAC device or PECS or some sense of communication and ask them how THEY feel? 

Let’s take five minutes off the internet and read a book.  Talk to an OT.   A speech therapist.  An autistic adult who has been there done that.  

So Yeah, the play I’m not as worried about.   It will come and go.    The martyr moms will keep growing in Numbers.  And the scariest part about this is this isn’t a play.   It’s real life people.  And I don’t like it one bit. 

Here is another issue I am having.   How about quack therapy? There are more ways to cure autism than there are plants under the sun acccording to half of what I read online.   Now. We all know its BS.  But really?   I’ve read everything from Bleach, to vitamins, to massage can cure my child of being autistic.   Can cure my child of being human.   Really? So I too can have a puppet.   So can you.  All you have to do is drink bleach and youre cured.   I won’t go into the other sick Method these people make up.  I hope you understand I am being sarcastic.  There is no amount of household Cleaners that can Bleach the autism out of you.   No amount of vitamins.   No amount of BackRubs that can beat it out of you.   

Ah! But ABA says yes! Yes we can! We too can make your child a puppet. All you need is a bag of skittles and a clicker.  Tell those autistic people to stop stimming.   Stop looking at the wall while I am talking to you….look at me.    Quiet hands.  Speak.  No, dont speak like that.   Speak like I do.   Speak how I want you to speak feel how I want you to feel.   You’ll get rewarded.   Here’s a skittle. How far do you have to shove your hand up a humans ass before they become a puppet? 

Im not sure.   You can ask a doctor.   Ask a therapist.   Ask an ABA therapist.   Ask anyone you want to. One thing I know for sure.  You’ll never ask an autistic person.  

Until youre ready to hear an answer.   

I’ll be waiting.   

Because you see I’ve already asked.   

I have my answer.   

Do you? 

Wake up people.   

Stop the play.  

And go wash your hands.