The Right Thing to Do 6

Today I am grateful for support and understanding. Thank you to all of you who have e-mailed Fox and blogged about the recent Glee episode. I sincerely hope they respond in some way and try to make things right.  

I want to make clear that the opinions I express on this blog are my opinions not my daughter’s. There are times we see eye to eye and there are times we do not. Therefore, I ask that you do not try to drag her into the campaign to e-mail Fox. She is choosing to stay out of this and I ask that you respect her wishes.

Now, I know there are those of you who will ask why I am doing this if she is not on board with this cause. My reason is simple. I cannot be a quiet bystander when I feel something is wrong and my views of the world as an adult are different from my views at age sixteen. This is not to say my daughter is wrong and I am right for that is not the way I see it. Rather what I see is that in our generation there were people who thought Archie Bunker on All in the Family was funny and there were people who found it offensive. Some who thought it was funny still find it humorous and others no longer do.

Everyone has a right to their opinions. However, laughing at a group that is vulnerable should never be okay in my book and Allen Frances’ very public opinion that many with an Asperger’s diagnosis do not really have it and those who make very public comments that people with Asperger’s use it as an excuse for bad behavior makes this group vulnerable. Therefore calling someone “self diagnosed” does not negate the harm done to those with a diagnosis of Asperger’s. The writers of Glee need to show tolerance for this vulnerable group.

Glee Needs to Apologize to Autism Community for Recent Episode 22

I hope all of you will write to Fox: askfox@fox.com to request an apology from the writers of Glee.  They require the following: In order for us to quickly help you, would you be so kind as to email us with the following additional details:

Your City:

Your Fox Station:

Your Zip Code:

Actual Channel Tuned to:

Cable or Satellite or Antenna?:

–If cable or satellite, your provider?

Type of Set Top Box Used (Name and Model if available):

Are there other times when the problem happens (like during another show or during local news)?:

Here is my letter:

To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing because I have a sixteen year old daughter diagnosed with Asperger’s.  She was diagnosed when she was ten and experienced severe bullying at school in fifth grade.  She has never been initially rude to her teachers, she has near prefect pitch and she is unlikely to request any special privileges especially about something that would call attention to her.  Imagine my reaction to the most recent Glee episode where a character named Sugar, “self diagnosed” with Asperger’s, was rude to a teacher, demanding special privileges including the right to be rude to the teacher, and to join the Glee Club when she is unable to carry a tune.
My daughter recently left a school she loved and had attended for ten years due to an intolerant teacher not understanding how having Asperger’s and the long-term effects of bullying made one assignment impossible for her.  She is still trying to adjust to attending an on-line school.  She misses seeing her friends everyday and in case you are wondering, yes it is possible to have friends when you have Asperger’s.  Her friends are open-minded, caring, and wonderful people.
Imagine how seeing Asperger’s be the brunt of jokes would make my daughter and others feel.  I hope you can imagine and you will request the writers to offer a public apology for all the girls like my daughter who deserve so much more from a show that they love and that has previously shown tolerance for others.  Please help restore my faith in this show and in your network by responding.
Most sincerely,
Sue Kam

aka D. S. Walker
authordswalker.com
Delightfully Different Facebook Page
Twitter: @dswalkerauthor

Focusing on Gratitude 8

Two thousand and one is a significant year for my family like it is for others. However, the significance for us is different and in hindsight it still is affecting us, so rather than dwell on a deep sadness that I am still unsuccessfully trying to heal, I choose to be grateful for nature and for my two September babies who were still so innocent on that fateful day.  One had just celebrated his third birthday and loved planes and the other one was anticipating her sixth birthday just days after that day.


Today I am grateful for the wonderful Kolea who I wrote about last February and who returned to my home three weeks ago.  These birds are one of God’s most amazing creatures as they fly from Alaska to the Hawaii every fall and fly back every spring a trip that I learned today takes them around fifty hours.  You can read more about this impressive bird at Hana Hou: The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines – Current Issue.