I don't know why, y'all, but today when several co-workers came bustling out to the lobby with the news that Robert Wood Jr. was found alive I about lost it. I hadn't been following the story very closely, because I avoid the news for the sake of my mental health most of the time, but oh, y'all, my heart. It wasn't so much that he'd been found that got to me (although obviously I was relieved to hear it, especially with the weather all over the South going to shit today), it was the way everyone was talking about him.
"He was probably hiding from the searchers, those autistic kids are a handful!"
"I'll bet it's because he's autistic that he survived. A normal child wouldn't have had the animal instincts." (yes, someone SAID that)
"They say he probably didn't know he'd been lost, or even notice; those kids aren't all there."
I get that most people don't "get" autism. Hell, I'm not even claiming to fully "get" Robert Wood Jr.'s type of autism; my two boys on the spectrum are both verbal, and made so much progress with therapy that both of them have mainstreamed successfully from kindergarten. It's apples to oranges, and I'm not trying to pull up a soapbox and be all "I am the Lorax, I speak for the autistic kids!" But after a couple of gentle attempts to correct some of the more egregious misconceptions I had to mentally take a step back and shut my trap on the matter, because I was about to lose my junk and say something really scathing.
I don't know what I'm trying to say here, except that I'm really glad that little guy is safe and warm with his family tonight, and I wish everyone would just say that and no more about the matter.