But most autism parenting stories are not positive, or about doing our best to understand what our autistic kids need and deserve. In recent “autism parent” memoirs like Judith Newman’s To Siri With Love and Whitney Ellenby’s Autism Uncensored, the authors hang their kids out to dry for being autistic and having intensely legitimate autistic needs, while centering the parent-narrators as victims of that disembodied demon, “autism.” That these stories keep getting green-lit is both an embarrassment and a tragedy.Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: The Toxicity of “Autism Parent” Memoirs
I also discussed this in A Tale of Two Mothers back in 2007. I ended that post with the following:
The events in the book take place in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Sadly, things probably haven’t changed much in the past few years. (I’ve hear that evidence of this can be found in Jenny McCarthy’s recent book about her autistic son, but I’ve not been able to get myself to read it.)
Disappointing, an embarrassment and tragedy indeed, that these types of books are still the ones that people want to write. And, perhaps worse, to read.