Parents Like Us
My friend Alysia emailed me with a call to action. One of her friends had received the April edition of Parents magazine, and was dismayed to find there was no coverage of autism. You see, next month is OUR month. Autism Awareness month. Some parents called for action, and Parents initially responded that there was going to be an article about bed tents and 2 online posts. I have a bed tent sitting in a closet that couldn’t ease my girl’s anxiety at night. I write online posts every day to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance. This was not good enough. Why can’t we open a magazine about parenting and find parents like us there?
I joined in the voices calling for more:
I join in with all the other PARENTS here who are appalled at your condescending and dismissive attitude. As a mother of a child on the spectrum, I’m shocked that you were unable to dedicate a single issue to raise awareness this month. It isn’t just our kids who feel marginalized and excluded. We’re parents too, we deserve acknowledgment. In April, we need Awareness.
They listened to us. When we speak together, the world has to listen.
Here is their response:
We would like to say again how grateful we are for your feedback and for the reminders in the last 48 hours that autism is not just 1 in 110—it’s about real people and real families. We feel that one of the best ways we can educate our readers and raise awareness for autism is through real-life stories. This is why we want to give you the opportunity to share your story with us and our audience as part of a blog series in addition to our planned articles. If you are interested in participating, please email FacebookSupport@meredith.com with the following information:
• Your Name
• Child’s Name
• Living with Autism: Your Family Story (Please keep stories to 500 words so we can include more voices in the blog.)
• Photo of your child/your family (*Optional. We will include one photo if you’d like.)
• Link to your personal blog/website (*Optional.)
We are very sorry for making you and your families feel dismissed or unappreciated. It was not our intention. Autism is an issue worthy of Parents magazine’s attention and we hope we can move forward together to raise awareness throughout April.
Please, if you have a story to tell, do share it. Show them that we are here, not just Parents the magazine, but all the parents who are struggling to understand their child’s strange behavior. All the parents who feel alone. Let us make sure that neither they nor their children feel marginalized or excluded. It is too late for the print edition for April this year, but I know that together we can make ourselves heard for next year. Let us show them that we are here.
They are parents like us.