I've written for years about the problems I've had with talk radio, and did so, for the most part with tongue tucked firmly in cheek. I've even had my own show in L.A. so In some way, I've been a part of the problem I write about. I do get ticked off, but rarely does anything said on talk radio ever cause me to lose my sense of humor. Until this past Wednesday.
On his syndicated talk radio show, The Savage Nation, Michael Savage (real name: Michael Weiner), the third most listened to talk show host behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and a bomb thrower like no other, called the disorder known as Autism, "a fraud" and "a racket."
He went further.
"I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."
There's so much I wanted to say, not only to pound some actual knowledge into whatever Savage uses for a brain, but also to defend those families who have been besieged by the heartbreak and hardship of living with someone, especially their children, with Autism.
I wondered how Savage might feel it were his child who was constantly being met with disapproving stares from strangers who recommend that "if your child can't behave maybe you shouldn't take him out in public." And how he might feel if the knew that it is going to happen every single day.
But as I began to write a note to Savage, I realized that it would be more appropriate to have someone who knows full well the devastation felt of not only hearing the diagnosis of your child as autistic, but having to live through the day to day sadness, frustration and pain you feel when it hits you that your child may never have what most would consider a typical life. For that I turned to my son Ryan...
My eight year old daughter Rebecca has a diagnosis of Autism.
Autism is a brain development disorder that impairs social interaction and communication, and causes restricted and repetitive behavior. That diagnosis in itself may help define a set of Rebecca's symptoms, but it far from defines READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE.
Ryan Young is Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York. His dad is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful...Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Steppingstones to Success."