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March 26, 2011

Parent's Magazine neglects Autism month

Imagine the coverage for World Autism if Parents Magazine had chosen their April issue this year to feature an autistic child on their cover and stories inside about autistic children of all ages. Instead they chose to headline baby sleep solutions, the 10 family restaurants and 21 Mom-tested discipline tips, none of which work on my 8yo #ASD son.

Imagine the possibilities if Parents Magazine had chosen to list therapy programs around the nation where parents of autistic children can find therapist-tested ways to calm an autistic meltdown, respite care, autistic friendly parks and restaurants.

Now imagine another year lost for parents who don't have access to any of these saving graces. Another year lost without proper diagnosis and treatment. Another year worrying and wondering if your autistic child will ever speak or socialize with others.

Shame on parents magazine for missing this opportunity. Oh and FYI: We've been to several of your top 12 restaurants, without any sympathy for our son's GFCF special diet (we were actually told in some restaurants that we could not bring in his food); without special seating or understanding service when our son is starting to meltdown and with other customers and staff who just stare and comment loudly over the fact that our son is on the floor under the table rather than dining like a "normal" child. . .as if we could control his behavior.

The only exception I'm going to note is that we have received excellent service at Panera Bread company, where they will go out of their way to try to find something our son can eat or to cut his apple just so.

Parents magazine vs. the autism community?

Silver Spring, Md. March 25 — It all started when Jennifer Ethirveerasingam looked at her April issue of Parents magazine. Mother to a child with autism and aware that April is Autism Awareness Month, she began to page through the magazine, looking for an article—anything—about autism. Finding nothing, she told some friends, who posted on the Parents magazine Facebook page under the heading "Lack of Autism Coverage."

"What a missed opportunity to raise awareness, provide information and to include families with autism in your parenting discussions," wrote Beth Andersen, the first to broach the topic on the magazine's wall.

Within hours, this slight gained traction in the online autism community, collecting dozens of comments on the Facebook posting and inspiring a string of posts around the blogosphere criticizing the magazine for neglecting a demographic that makes up a sizable chunk of the parenting population.


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