At Autism Vox Ms Chew rarely mentions any of the negative realities that actually result in autism diagnoses or that impair the lives of so many autistic children and adults and the family members and caregivers who love and care for them. Any expression of those negative realities whether it be the Autism Every Day video or the campaigns by people such as Jenny McCarthy to cure autism are met with hostility, scorn and ridicule at Autism Vox.
The campaign that Ms Chew attacks with her efforts is a campaign to help children with psychiatric disorders. In the Autism Vox Universe it is people trying to help children by telling the truth who are the enemy. In fact it is the truth that is the enemy at Autism Vox. And WHO are the real people behind the campaign? It is not NYU. It is those people who speak the truth about their children's conditions - honest, caring parents. It is they who inspired the campaign attacked by Ms Chew:
"According to Dr. Koplewicz, the campaign was inspired by filmed conversations of parents and children talking about life with a psychiatric disorder. “These families felt their children were trapped by their disorders,” he said.
John Osborn, the president and chief executive of BBDO New York, said the effort was intended to increase the sense of urgency about the diseases and encourage conversation. “It’s tricky because there are a lot of messages in the air, particularly at holiday time. That makes it a challenge to cut through the clutter.”
BBDO’s earlier ads for the Child Study Center — which included images of a child running happily through a sprinkler and a drawing of a child caught in a maze — “were wonderful, but they didn’t get this kind of attention from anyone,” Dr. Koplewicz said. “They were too pleasant and innocuous. That’s the reason we decided to go along with BBDO.”
He was further emboldened, he said, by the reaction of focus groups of women whose children have the disorders mentioned in the ads. “Everyone who participated felt the ads were informative,” he said. “While we knew the campaign was edgy and we knew it would be harsh and upsetting, the facts of mental illness are even more upsetting.Thankfully the New York Times told both sides of the story. My son has Autism Disorder. He is severely autistic. I have a duty to speak the truth about his disorder, a sense of duty not on display at Autism Vox where parents speaking the truth are treated with contempt and outrage. It was encouraging to see the NYT present an explanation for the campaign.
Some day it might dawn on Ms Chew that parents speaking the truth about their children's autism disorders actually love their children every bit as much as she does, that we find joy in our children every single day of our time together with them. But unlike Ms Autism Vox we also understand that time IS in fact the enemy for most of our autistic children, that many WILL live their lives dependent on the cares of others, especially after we are gone. We live with the realities of self aggression and aggression to others. We live with the realities of ever present danger to our children presented by every day life. And we try to do something about it, for our children and for other autistic children and adults. And we do something rarely done at Autism Vox we speak the whole truth about autism
Ms Chew bragged to the New York Times about the 3,000 to 4,000 daily visitors to Autism Vox. What she failed to mention were the hundreds of thousands of parents across the United States and Canada fighting to treat and cure their autistic children, parents who, on behalf of the children they love, speak the truth, the whole truth, about autism. And like the campaign organizers at NYU we know that the facts of autism are more upsetting than the provocative imagery used in the awareness raising ransom notes campaign - for most of us anyway.