Responses to The Prom Article: Love, Sinead, and Trolls

From the Newsletter

This week, I published an article about my boys and the prom. Sometimes, a picture of two handsome boys is really a Trojan horse for more serious issues, like inadequate special education, the lack of community support for families, and insufficient employment opportunities for adults with autism. First on the Trending list for Apple News that evening, the article went far and wide. 

When I put stuff out on the Internet, trolls and surprises should be expected. This time, the trolling came from a small group of hyper-verbal autistic activists, who don’t believe that families should ever speak about disabilities issues. (They’re wrong.) And the surprise came from Sineaid O’Connor, who retweeted my article. (Huge fan.)

The vast majority of responses were heart warming. One lovely stranger sent Ian a graduation card. My kids were offered dates by men and women alike. I met activists in the field doing incredible work and learned more about how businesses are starting employ autistic kids with high level computer skills, like my son. Ian might be doing cybersecurity in the future. 

Many shared pictures of their children at the prom together. Here are a few… 

I can’t tell you how much I love these kids and families. These are my people.

Welcome, new readers. Just some background about myself, I have been VERY online since 2003, which was around when I set up my first personal blog. I’m a writer, parent, community gadfly, and part time book dealer. In past lives, I was a political science professor, policy analyst, special education teacher, museum assistant, and editor at Simon and Schuster. My children say that I am hyper. There’s more here, along with links to all the websites.

In this Friday newsletter, I usually write a short essay about whatever I find fascinating at the moment — lately the topic has been disabled kids and families. Then, I provide links to things that I’ve read or watched or consumed that week. But no links today, because I’m totally burned out. Right now, I’m going to take my iPad out to the back patio and read some silly novel for an hour. 

Love to all. Laura