8 Feb 2007

We're not all bigots

I had a total blast at my cousin's Civil Partnership last week. The service was lovely and the couple looked great in their coordinating outfits. They had bridesmaids and flower girls and the whole shebang. About 100 of their friends and relatives attended and it was nice to see so much support for them both. In a week when I read a report that Northern Ireland is the most bigoted place in the world, it's good to see that the homophobes didn't get in the way last Friday. I know that many of our relatives from the older generation who attended, all of whom are devoutly religious, were a bit saddened that it wasn't an ordinary wedding, but they were still all able to accept that this is how it is and to support their niece/granddaughter.

As always, I had some mad crack with my cousins, caught up with one of them I hadn't seen in years, drank vodka for the first time and managed to get a bit of a boogie too. So it was a proper Irish wedding. I stayed at my dad's place that night, and we left before the fighting started. Nah, only joking, it was a nice, well behaved crowd, in spite of all the Derry people there ;-)

I haven't been blogging or reading other's blogs so much lately. First I was spending my computer time researching our holiday and for the past week, I've been looking at cars. We've now decided to exchange our 6 yo Alhambra for a 2 yo Vauxhall Vectra. We'd bought the 7 seater thinking that we'd be taking Gordon's mum out with us often, but that hasn't happened.

But then when I did catch up on news or blogs, it was often just depressing. Like the report mentioned above, or the news about the couple jailed for disgusting abuse of their 4 yo child with cerebral palsy. What the hell kind of world is this?

I got an e-mail from the Aspies for Freedom group, saying that the Autism Speaks (spit) group are making inroads in Britain. We don't need this fervently anti-autism, miss-named gang here. AFF are asking those who support autism rights to sign their petition,though only UK citizens can do so.

To top it all, the UK government is currently re-thinking its position on elective home education, and it's expected that we will be subject to much more regulation at the end of it, which would compromise our ability to provide a customised education suitable to each child and their individual needs. A recently formed campaigning group, Ahed, is seeking to limit the potential for a reduction in our freedoms.

I mean, right now, I'm writing this, supervising Lady's work on her maths, helping Thomas get into his superman suit and drawing a Legoland map for Duncan at the same time (it's just taking a long time!) The vocabulary Duncan is using is amazing; he's telling me where we are going and what we're doing on the map. This would never come under the National Curriculum, but it's what works for my boy.


abfh said...

I wonder who would turn out to be the most bigoted in a survey of attitudes toward autistics? (So far, the entire western world seems to be so prejudiced in that regard, I don't expect anyone would even think about doing such a survey.)

I'm glad the partnership ceremony went so well... some attitudes really are changing, and it gives me hope that bigotry can be overcome.

mcewen said...

I don't know enough about homeschooling either side of the ocean as far as regulation is concerned, but that aside, if you [one] have the tenacity to homeschool, I can't think of a better fit for an autistic child. That really is the 'individual' in the IEP. [individual education plan - out here]
You might like to correspond with Tibetan Star and compare notes about regulation.

laurentius rex said...

I would not bother with the AFF petition, it is ill thought out. Technically we already have protection under the Disability Discrimination Act. Ok there is a lot wrong with that act but autistic people are not a special minority any worse of than other groups of disabled people, and politics does not work like that either. We will get further by alliances with other groups.

As for autism speaks, yes they have been over here for a while and have been bankrolled by Dame Steve Shirley. In Scotland it is worse, but then we Brits gave the world Wakefield didn't we?

The curebies are everywhere which is why I want to see a stronger NAS and want to ensure that the positive images of autism become so engrained in NAS culture that the curebies can never take that back.

AFF need to actively lobby MP's in person, and in writing. You can't do it all on the internet as Parliamentary culture has not caught up yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that the ceromony and equally importantly the party went well. So sorry I missed it, hope you took loads of pictures. Having the best time here, back on Sun
Cathy x