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Smelena
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03 Apr 2008, 5:30 am

This is a blog by a man with Autism:

So, there's this guy..... who wants to run across Canada... (Okay, as the mother of a guy who wanted to run across his Province, I can relate...) So, he goes looking for a "cause" to raise awareness about and funds for, while he runs. His research brings him to Autism (or, more precisely, ASD - "Autism Spectrum Disorders"). Again, I can relate. Our Autism Celebration Run was about fulfilling Alex's dream to run across Prince Edward Island, to raise awareness about Autism (ASD) and to raise funds to benefit our Island's autistics .

The similarities between Alex's "Autistic Celebration Run" and Jonathon Howard's "Run The Dream" Run appear to end there. Alex ran FOR Autism, Mr. Howard is running AGAINST Autism.

Mr. Howard, while admitting his life is untouched by autism, is out to inform "Canadians who have been spared the burden of dealing with Autism" that autistics are a "burden for the rest of their lives" to our parents, family members, teachers and social support groups. He wants to "promote a unified and effective approach in Canada to dealing with Autism, and ultimately preventing it or finding a cure."

It appears obvious from those sentiments that when he decided to pick autism as his cause he decided not to talk to autistics about it. In fact, my email to him, CC'd to every one of his Team members, has gone unanswered. Meanwhile, two different Provincial Autism Societies have cooperated to get a message to Alex asking if he's like to join Mr. Howard on his run when he's on PEI.

For more ....

http://therunman.blogspot.com/

Helen



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03 Apr 2008, 6:52 am

I don't see my autism as a burden, at all. That man's thinking is very old school. When are people going to get themselves out of the 1950s and realize, that most of us don't wish to be cured?


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03 Apr 2008, 7:16 am

I like the idea of running for autism, though. I don't like people who run against it.


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03 Apr 2008, 10:45 am

That's like people walking for Autistic Speaks - they're walking against any real awareness.

I seriously think there will need to be a "World Walks FOR Autism" before any positive change will be brought about. That would be nice for next year's World Autism Awareness Day.


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03 Apr 2008, 3:47 pm

Mr Howard,

You are dearly wrong because we people with ASD's are not burdens to society. I myself am not a burden to my family nor to my friends. I do sometimes make them stressful but they are willing to cope with me spite this difficult. Think before speaking and realize the truth of what ASD's bring to the world, unknown talents to be discovered.


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03 Apr 2008, 4:04 pm

I think we should all stick our legs out and trip him as he goes by. Burden to my family and friends, my ass. If he had any decency he'd realize that there are good things that many people with ASD have that normal people don't.


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Smelena
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03 Apr 2008, 4:27 pm

I reckon Alex Plank should interview Alex Bain.

Alex Bain sounds like another excellent role-model.

Helen



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03 Apr 2008, 5:14 pm

I'm going to guess that Mr. Howard doesn't realize that many important historical figures are suspected to have had autism of some form.

The list includes such names as:

Albert Einstein (probably the greatest physicist that ever lived)
Issac Newton (Another great physicist)
Thomas Jefferson (U.S. president and the founding father most responsible for total religious freedom in America)
Mozart (Considered by many to be the greatest composer ever)

Seriously, where would the world be without these brilliant people? If Issac Newton or Albert Einstein never lived, or were normal people, our understanding of physics could be 50 years behind were it is today. And if Thomas Jefferson hasn't insisted on total religious freedom, while I doubt the national government would have instituted a national religion, state and local governments might be free to oppress religious minorities.

Also a lot of famous living people, such as Bill Gates, are confirmed to have some form of autism. The fact is as much as we need Neruotypicals, they need us as well. Without us, and other eccentrics, the world would be a very different and probably more difficult place.



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03 Apr 2008, 9:27 pm

The_Cucumber wrote:
Also a lot of famous living people, such as Bill Gates, are confirmed to have some form of autism.


Reference? Link? Anything? I get what you're saying, but I've never seen an article that confirms Bill has had a positive dx.

As for Mr. Howard, I think it'd be great if an ASD running group joined him on his trip across the country.



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04 Apr 2008, 6:08 am

t0 wrote:
Reference? Link? Anything? I get what you're saying, but I've never seen an article that confirms Bill has had a positive dx.

As for Mr. Howard, I think it'd be great if an ASD running group joined him on his trip across the country.


You know what? I've never actually read that in an article. I first found out when my mother mentioned it (although I don't know how she found out, I'm supposed to know more about these things!), and I've seen it mentioned several times on these forums. Once by someone who might of heard it from a Microsoft employee.



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04 Apr 2008, 3:48 pm

The_Cucumber wrote:
I'm going to guess that Mr. Howard doesn't realize that many important historical figures are suspected to have had autism of some form.

The list includes such names as:

Albert Einstein (probably the greatest physicist that ever lived)
Issac Newton (Another great physicist)
Thomas Jefferson (U.S. president and the founding father most responsible for total religious freedom in America)
Mozart (Considered by many to be the greatest composer ever)

Seriously, where would the world be without these brilliant people? If Issac Newton or Albert Einstein never lived, or were normal people, our understanding of physics could be 50 years behind were it is today. And if Thomas Jefferson hasn't insisted on total religious freedom, while I doubt the national government would have instituted a national religion, state and local governments might be free to oppress religious minorities.

Also a lot of famous living people, such as Bill Gates, are confirmed to have some form of autism. The fact is as much as we need Neruotypicals, they need us as well. Without us, and other eccentrics, the world would be a very different and probably more difficult place.


Indeed, it's disturbing how people think they are doing so much for autism when they know so little about it. It is very strange how he is passionate enough to run across Canada for us but not go as far as talk to us, if that is true about him not answering the email.

But apart from that 'There is no warning, there is no cure' line and others like it, his website doesn't seem too bad. At least from what I've seen, it doesn't have the extensive disrespectful rhetoric that Autism Speaks has on their site. And I hope all those "burden" quotes arn't as common as it looks in the OP.



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10 May 2008, 1:20 pm

Laughter & Profanity - Run The Dreams Response to Our Concerns

On March 28th, 2008, I sent the following email:

To: jonathan.howard
Subject: You run & reasons
Cc:
bill.robertson,alex.bittner,alison
.pickard,becky.doyle,bryan.howard,carly.murdock,kevin.cassankevin.frasera,lauren.canzius,mike.mccarther
scott.rogers,warren.howard

Sir,

Words like these - "spared the burden of dealing with
Autism", "ultimately preventing it or finding a cure." are
incredibly offensive to autistics and parents such as myself.

My (autistic) son ran across Prince Edward Island in 2006
and runs almost every weekend in a roadrace FOR autism, not
*against* it as you are doing. For all of our involvement in
running and autism advocacy we will not be supporting you run
and will be educating PE Islanders about why we find your
attitude so offensive.

What, exactly, do you have against people like myself and my
2 sons that you want to prevent people like us from existing?

What, exactly, do you plan to do with any money you raise?

-jypsy (janet norman-bain)
The Autistic Celebration Run -
Runman's blog -



My email was met with silence. Except for the email from one
service provider, bouncing back one of the addresses, I got no
reply whatsoever. I noted this in the post I wrote on the World
Autism Day, April 2nd.

On May 9th, I received an invitation, via the PEI Autism
Society, from Mr. Mike McCarther, Production Manager - Run the
Dream Atlantic, stating he'd be "ecstatic" if we'd join them
Wednesday, May 14th in Charlottetown. Mr. McCarther also invited
me to "feel free to contact me to RSVP, or with any questions or
concerns that you may have."

We sent him the following email:

Mr. McCarther,

Please consider our concerns as expressed below and at
(*rl removed, see *rl above in thread)

Thank You

-janet norman-bain & Alex Bain

("Below" was a plain text copy, minus the links, of what is at the link provided)



I got the following reply (slightly edited to preserve the
integrity of this blog) from Mr. McCarther:

From: "Mike McCarther"

Haha oh sh*t...



That is the long awaited reply from Run The Dream to autistics
expressing concern over Mr. Howard's message. Laughter and
profanity.

We are not laughing.

In fact I'm quite offended and shocked speechless.